Keep smoke alarms charged

The simple yet powerful act of changing the batteries in smoke alarms (and carbon monoxide detectors) when you change the clock back on Nov. 2 can double a family’s chances of getting out of a home fire alive.

As a 45-year fire service veteran, I have witnessed firsthand the tragedy and devastation of home fires. It’s even more heartbreaking when a young life is cut short. On average, nearly two children die each day in home fires. Overall, roughly 80 percent of home fire deaths in this country occur in homes without working smoke alarms.

Considering that residential fire deaths peak in winter months, it makes sense to change your smoke alarm batteries each and every fall. The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when most families are sleeping.

Smoke alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths. Children and senior citizens are most at risk, and a working smoke alarm can give them the extra seconds they need to get out safely.

We hope you will join Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, our Change Your Clock-Change Your Battery partner for 21 years, in sharing this lifesaving information.

David A. Zeek

Fire Marshal