The Kansas State Fire Marshal, Dan McLaughlin, is urging all citizens to change your smoke detector battery when you change your clocks back to Standard Time, this year on November 1, 2009.
Smoke detectors save lives – but only those that have been properly installed and maintained. In 2008, forty percent of all home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms, while 23% resulted from homes in which smoke alarms were present but did not operate. The most commonly cited cause of non-working smoke alarms is worn or missing batteries. Changing smoke alarm batteries at least once a year is one of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries. Additionally, the Nation Fire Protection Association recommends replacing your smoke alarms every ten years.
To save lives and prevent needless injuries in Kansas, the Kansas State Fire Marshal’s Office offers the following safety tips:
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. When one sounds, they all sound.
- Test alarms monthly by pushing the test button. Make sure everyone can hear the sound when tested.
- Have a home escape plan. Know at least two ways out of every room, if possible, and have an established meeting place.
One-third of American households who made an estimate thought they would have at least 6 minutes before a fire in their home would become life-threatening. The time available is often less. And only 8% said their first thought on hearing a smoke alarm would be to get out!
“When the smoke alarm sounds, get out and stay out,” says State Fire Marshal, Dan McLaughlin. “Smoke alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths. A working smoke alarm can give residents the extra seconds they need to get out safely, but only if they respond to the alarm.”
Statistical data provided through the U.S. Fire Association, National Fire Incident Reporting System, and the National Fire Protection Association.