SPRING AHEAD-AND DON’T FORGET SMOKE ALARMS
CHANGE YOUR CLOCKS, CHANGE YOUR BATTERIES
- Date: March 7, 2014 PIO # 14-3-9
Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. Sunday, March 9. While residents are reminded to set their clocks ahead one hour, Broward Sheriff Fire Rescue wants to remind residents to change the batteries in their smoke alarms. Most smoke alarms fail because of missing, dead or disconnected batteries.
“It takes just a minute of your time to replace your battery and check your smoke alarm, and it makes sense when you consider how a working smoke detector significantly increases your chances of surviving a fire,” Sheriff Scott Israel said. In the United States, about 96 percent of homes have at least one smoke alarm. In the homes with no smoke alarms, more than half of the fires result in death. Here are some tips to help keep you and your family safe:
SMOKE ALARM SAFETY TIPS
• Test smoke alarms at least once a month and clean the units in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions. Children are heavy sleepers; if you have children, you may want to test the unit when they’re sleeping to see if it will wake them in case of a fire. If not, consider installing smoke alarms designed for children and heavy sleepers.
• Replace the batteries in your smoke alarms twice a year, when you change your clocks in the fall and spring. Consider using long-life (10-year) batteries now available in some newer smoke alarms.
• Install smoke alarms on every level of your house and in every room, making sure there is an alarm in every sleeping area. New homes are required to have smoke alarms in all sleeping rooms, according to the National Fire Alarm Code.
• Mount the smoke alarms on ceilings, four inches from away from the nearest wall. On vaulted ceilings, mount them at the highest point of the ceiling. Wall-mounted alarms should be installed at least four inches, but not more than 12 inches away from the ceiling.
• Don't install smoke alarms near windows, outside doors, or ducts where drafts might interfere with their operation and don't paint smoke alarms. Paint or other decorations could keep them from working properly.
• Smoke alarms don’t last forever. Replace your smoke alarms every 10 years. Be sure the smoke alarm you buy carries the label of an independent testing lab. Make sure everyone in your home can hear and recognize the sound of the alarm and knows how to react immediately.
The Broward Sheriff Fire Marshal’s Bureau distributes and installs free smoke alarms to single-family homes in our jurisdiction. To see if you are eligible, call 954-831-8210.
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