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March 14 – Spring Forward Means Time to Change Smoke Alarm Batteries

March 14 – Spring Forward Means Time to Change Smoke Alarm Batteries

The Farmington Hills Fire Department and the National Fire Protection Association urge all residents to change their smoke alarm batteries when changing their clocks from standard time to daylight savings time on Sunday, March 14, 2021.

“It’s an easy, inexpensive, and proven way to protect your family and your home,” said Fire Marshal Jason Baloga. Since 1987, the International Association of Fire Chiefs has joined with Energizer batteries in the Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery campaign to spread the message that non-working smoke alarms are responsible for needless home fire deaths and injuries.

Unfortunately, in 2020 Michigan reported that 123 people died in 102 residential fires, which was a 21% increase from 2019.

Only 35% of the homes where fatalities occurred had working smoke alarms.

Today’s synthetic home furnishings burn faster than ever and produce more toxic gases and smoke, typically allowing only one to two minutes to escape after the smoke alarm sounds. Since the peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when most families are sleeping, a working smoke alarm is vital in providing critical extra time needed to get out safely.

Over 65% of known fatal fires originate in the living room or the bedroom, so the Fire Department also recommends you “Close Before You Doze” and sleep with bedroom doors closed to prevent fire from spreading and to facilitate escape. Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or non- working smoke alarms. All smoke alarms should be tested monthly to check for missing or dead batteries or disconnected wires.

Smoke alarms should also be checked to see if they are outdated; since 2002 all smoke alarms must have the manufacture date marked on the outside. If your smoke alarm does not show a manufacture date or if you’ve had it for more than ten years, it needs to be replaced.

The Farmington Hills Fire Department recommends purchasing new smoke alarms with 10-year lithium batteries. If you need assistance with acquiring a smoke alarm, the Farmington Hills Fire Department has a free smoke alarm installation program for residents.

“We’ve installed hundreds of smoke alarms over the past 20 years and will continue to do so until everyone who needs a smoke alarm has one,” said Fire Marshal Baloga. For information about the free smoke alarm installation program, please contact the Fire Prevention Division at 248-871-2820.

 

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