Public Service Announcement: Change your clock, change your battery
Friday, March 11, 2016

CONCORD – The Concord Fire Department encourages residents to test and replace batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors when changing clocks forward to Daylight Saving Time over the weekend.

Communities nationwide witness tragic home fire deaths each year. Somewhere in the nation, a home fire death occurs approximately every three hours, and up to 66 percent of those occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Although smoke alarms are present in 95 percent of American homes, 20 percent do not work—mostly because of dead or missing batteries.

Changing your batteries at least twice a year is the simplest, most effective way to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries. In fact, a working smoke alarm nearly cuts in half the risk of dying in home fire. The International Association of Fire Chiefs also recommends replacing smoke alarms every ten years.

Tragically, many people mistakenly believe they’d be awakened by the smell of smoke in time to escape. Clinical experiments have found that the sense of smell actually lessens when people are asleep. In addition, smoke disorients people and dulls their senses, making it less likely that other cues, such as cries for help, will awaken them. This is why working smoke alarms are so important.

Smoke alarms should be installed in all sleeping areas and hallways that lead to them, in basements, and at least one on each additional level of your home. Some alarms should be mounted on the ceiling four inches from the wall; some should be installed on the wall four to twelve inches from the ceiling. Do not install smoke alarms near drafty areas such as windows or vents.

The Concord Fire Department can assist residents with installing or replacing smoke alarms. Please call 704-920-5516 for more information.