State fire marshal: Change clocks, batteries on Sunday

March 11, 2011

By Staff

NEW — 6 a.m. March 11, 2011

As the change to daylight saving time approaches Sunday, the state Fire Marshal’s Office reminds residents to make another life-saving change: changing the batteries in smoke alarms.

“Take time to change the batteries in your smoke alarms, testing your smoke alarms, planning two ways out and practicing escape routes with the entire family,” Fire Marshal Charles M. Duffy said. “Being prepared and knowing what to do if fire happens to occur can save your life and the lives of your loved ones.”

Smoke alarms most often fail because of missing, dead or disconnected batteries, so maintenance is a simple, effective way to protect families and reduce home fire deaths.

In fact, working smoke alarms nearly cut in half the risk of dying in a home fire. Warnings from smoke alarms can provide critical extra seconds people need to evacuate safely.

Officials said about 62 percent of fire deaths occurred in homes without working smoke alarms in Washington last year, and the peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m., when most families sleep.

Ensuring smoke alarms remain operational is critical to life safety. Smoke alarms have been designed to detect the presence of smoke and alert occupants to danger.

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