Saturday, November 2, 2013
This Is the Weekend to Change Your Smoke Alarm Batteries
According to the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), on average, people have less than three minutes from the time the first smoke alarm sounds to escape a fire. Working smoke alarms provide early warning and critical extra seconds needed to escape. They cut the risk of dying in home structure fires in half.
In the U.S., almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with inoperable smoke alarms or no smoke alarms. Thirty-eight percent of the fatal fire injuries occurred in homes with no smoke alarms at all, while 24 percent occurred in homes in which at least one smoke alarm was present but failed to operate.
This past September, three people, including a four-year-old child, died and three others were injured in a fast-moving apartment fire that occurred in Easton's West Ward neighborhood. Fire officials said the home lacked smoke detectors.
Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing, disconnected, or dead batteries. Households with non-working smoke alarms now outnumber those with no smoke alarms.
Changing smoke alarm batteries at least once a year, testing those alarms, and reminding others to do so are some of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce the change of tragic death and injury.
Additionally, the IAFC recommends that smoke alarms in homes be replaced every ten years.
The Easton Fire Department provides smoke alarms free of charge to city residents that request them. Contact them at 610-250-6670 for more information.