Change your clock, change your bat­ter­ies

Fire­fight­ers: Smoke de­tec­tors should get at­ten­tion this week­end as well as clocks

Daily Local News (West Chester, PA) - - LOCAL NEWS - Staff Re­port

COATESVILLE >> Coatesville Fire­fight­ers (IAFF Lo­cal 3790) re­mind the pub­lic to change the bat­ter­ies in their smoke alarms when they change their clocks this week­end.

Two-thirds of home fire deaths re­sult from fires in homes with­out a work­ing smok­ing alarm, ac­cord­ing to the Na­tional Fire Pro­tec­tion Agency (NFPA). The NFPA re­ports that work­ing smoke alarms cut the risk of dy­ing in a home fire in half.

“Sav­ing your life can be as sim­ple as chang­ing your smoke alarm bat­ter­ies once a year and re­plac­ing smoke alarms ev­ery seven to 10 years,” said Jim Lentz, a 16-year veteran fire­fighter with IAFF Lo­cal 3790.

IAFF Lo­cal 3790 mem­bers cited re­search show­ing that pho­to­elec­tric smoke alarms are more ef­fec­tive at warn­ing peo­ple of smoke from smol­der­ing fires than ion­iza­tion smoke alarms. With ear­lier warn­ing, fire­fight­ers said that peo­ple have more time to es­cape a burn­ing struc­ture and to call 911. Spe­cial smoke alarms are avail­able for those who are deaf or hear­ing-im­paired.

IAFF Lo­cal 3790 rep­re­sen­ta­tives said lo­cal fire fight­ers rec­om­mend in­stalling a du­alpur­pose smoke alarm in ev­ery bed­room, out­side of ev­ery bed­room and on each floor of your home.

“You should also in­stall car­bon monox­ide alarms in your home and check them once a month,” said Mike Pawlowski, Coatesville IAFF pres­i­dent.

Car­bon monox­ide (CO) is an in­vis­i­ble poi­sonous gas that has no odor can be lethal. CO alarms should be in­stalled in a cen­tral lo­ca­tion out­side each sleep­ing area and on ev­ery level of the home.

More than 2,300 peo­ple die each year in home fires. Hav­ing a smoke alarm and car­bon monox­ide alarm that works 24 hours a day greatly in­creases chances of sur­vival in the event of a house fire.

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“Sav­ing your life can be as sim­ple as chang­ing your smoke alarm bat­ter­ies once a year and re­plac­ing smoke alarms ev­ery seven to 10 years.” — Jim Lentz, IAFF Lo­cal 3790 fire­fighter

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