Oct 30, 2013

Change your clocks, change your batteries

GREENVILLE – As Daylight Saving Time comes to an end on November 3, the City of Greenville Fire Department wants to remind you to change the batteries in each of your smoke detectors when you change the time on your clocks. Properly operating smoke alarms are the single most important tool in determining whether or not your family will have time to escape a house fire. According to the National Fire Protection Agency “nearly 900 lives could be saved each year if all homes had working smoke alarms.”

Time is the key factor when dealing with fire. Most Americans believe they have 10 minutes or less before a fire turns deadly; in truth, the time frame is usually much less – often as little as two minutes. While every fire has its own set of circumstances, the facts of fire behavior remain the same, and the facts are that a fire will double in size with each passing minute. Since every second counts when trying to escape during a fire, it stands to reason that the most important factor in getting out unharmed is some type of early warning.

In 2005-2009, smoke alarms were present in almost three quarters (72%) of reported home fires and sounded in half (51%) of the home fires. One quarter (24%) of deaths were caused by fires in properties which smoke alarms were present but failed to operate. When smoke alarms should have operated but did not, it usually was because of missing or dead batteries in the alarms. With Daylight Savings Time ending on Nov. 3, take time to replace your smoke alarm batteries, check operation of the alarms, and practice your Home Escape Plan with everyone in the residence.

If you live in the City of Greenville and do not currently have a working smoke alarm in your home or yours is more than 10 years old, contact the fire department at 548-3040 during normal business hours (Monday–Friday, 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) to receive one free of charge. If you need help with installation, members of the City of Greenville Fire Department will set up a time to come to your home and install your new smoke detector in the optimum location.

Take advantage of the Darke County Solid Waste Management’s 9-volt Battery Exchange Program for your smoke detector batteries. To qualify for the battery exchange, you must live within Darke County. Take your batteries to the City of Greenville Fire Department and exchange them for new ones (up to a maximum of 5 batteries per household) until Nov. 10.

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