Change the clock, change the battery Nov. 3

October 30, 2013

This weekend, use the extra hour to remind family and friends to change their smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries and make a positive change in the community.

Daylight saving time ends Sunday, Nov. 3, and marks the 26th year of the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery program, sponsored by Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. The Change Your Clock Change Your Battery Program reminds people to change and test the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. The message is simple and the habit can be lifesaving.

Changing smoke alarm batteries at least once a year, testing those alarms and reminding others to do the same are some of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce tragic deaths and injuries. Also, the International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends that smoke alarms in homes be replaced every 10 years.

"The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most families are sleeping,"  said Michael Lowe, a senior instructor at the Delaware State Fire School. “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.”

Tragically, home fires injure and kill thousands each year. Those most at risk include:

• Children: Home fires kill 500 children ages 14 and under each year. Roughly three‐quarters of child fire fatalities under age 15 occurred in homes without working smoke alarms.

• Seniors: Adults 75 and older are almost three times more likely to die in a home fire.

• Low‐income households:  Many low‐income families are unable to afford batteries for their smoke alarms. These same households often rely on poorly installed, maintained or misused portable or area heating equipment - a main cause of fatal home fires.

Twenty‐six years ago, Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs recognized a disturbing trend that many home fire fatalities were taking place in homes without working smoke alarms. So, through the years, the two have worked together along with thousands of fire departments nationwide to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries.

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