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Time to set clocks back one hour, again

Fire officials: Check smoke detector batteries, too

Photo by Elaine Rackley
Daylight-saving time ends Sunday, and fire officials are encouraging residents to also change the batteries in their home smoke detectors.

Photo by Elaine Rackley Daylight-saving time ends Sunday, and fire officials are encouraging residents to also change the batteries in their home smoke detectors.

Daylight-saving time ends Sunday. Residents are urged to set their clocks back one hour, and change and test batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

Sunday also marks the 24th anniversary of the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® (CYCCYB) program, sponsored by Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs.

Officials said the message is simple, and the habit can be life-saving.

“The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 11 p.m., and 7 a.m., when most families are sleeping,” said Henry County Fire Chief Bill Lacy. “Smoke alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths.

“Children and senior citizens are most at-risk, and a working smoke alarm can give them the extra seconds they need to get out safely,” he said. In addition, Lacy recommends that residents not only use the “extra” hour they save from the time change to test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, but to also plan and practice escape routes. Families should also prepare a fire safety kit that includes a working flashlight and fresh batteries, he said.

“Communities nationwide witness tragic home-fire deaths each year, but everyone can work together to help reduce the number of home-fire fatalities,” said Henry County Fire Capt. Sabrina Puckett, in a written statement. “Non-working smoke alarms rob residents of the protective benefits home-fire safety devices were designed to provide. The most commonly cited cause of non-working smoke alarms: worn or missing batteries.

“Eighty percent of child fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms,” she said. “It’s a tragic statistic that could be reduced by adopting the simple habit of the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery program.”

Changing smoke alarm batteries twice a year, testing those alarms, and reminding others to do the same, are some of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries, the officials said.

Additionally, the International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends that smoke alarms in homes be replaced every 10 years. Having both ionization and photo-electric smoke alarms is the best way to alert people to all types of home fires, Puckett added.