Dublin Villager

Smoke signals

Remember: Change your clocks, change your batteries

Daylight saving time comes to an end this year on Sunday, Nov. 4 and marks the 25th anniversary of the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery program, sponsored by Energizer batteries and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

When you turn your clocks back one hour, use this extra hour to start a new tradition of also changing the batteries in all the smoke alarms in your home. It can save your life.

Warnings from smoke alarms can provide those critical extra seconds people need to get out of their homes safely.

Overall, roughly 66 percent of home fire deaths in the United States occur in homes without working smoke alarms.

And nearly half of all home fire deaths result from fires that occur between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when we are the most vulnerable.

Use the hour you gain each year in the fall to:

* Test all the smoke alarms in your home by pushing the test button.

* Replace any batteries that have expired. Most smoke alarms use one 9-volt battery.

* Plan with your family two escape routes in the event of a fire and practice them.

* Prepare a fire safety kit that includes working flashlights and fresh batteries.

* Replace any smoke alarms that are 10 or more years old with a photoelectric type.

Having working smoke alarms in your home is a simple and effective way to reduce your risk of dying in a home fire by nearly half.

Considering that residential fire deaths peak in winter months, it makes sense to change your smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries each and every fall.

Nov. 4, change your clock and change your batteries, and remind your relatives and friends to do so too.

If you have questions or need advice on installation or testing of smoke or carbon monoxide alarms, contact the Washington Township Fire Department at 614-652-3920.

The Washington Township Fire Department provides fire prevention, fire suppression, emergency medical services, and education and safety programs for Washington Township, which encompasses parts of Franklin, Delaware and Union counties.

Washington Township Fire Department Fire Marshal Alan Perkins regularly submits the Smoke Signals column to the ThisWeek Dublin Villager.