Valdosta > Spring Forward, Time to Change Smoke Detector Batteries

| March 4, 2015

Valdosta-City-Courthouse

VALDOSTA — As citizens spring forward an hour for Daylight Saving Time, this Sunday, March 8, at 2 a.m., Valdosta Fire Freddie Broome urges citizens to utilize the occasion as a reminder to change the batteries in their home smoke detectors.

A properly installed and maintained smoke detector is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Whether you’re awake or asleep, a working smoke detector is constantly on alert, scanning the air for fire and smoke.

According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in properties without a working smoke detector. A working smoke detector can help individuals and their loved ones escape a deadly home fire. It can also help save the lives of firefighters who would otherwise have to risk their lives by searching a burning home for residents.

Chief Broome recommends the following simple steps for fire safety in the home:
· Install smoke detectors on every level of your home and outside every sleeping area. If a family member sleeps with the door closed, install one inside the sleeping area as well.

· Hallways longer than 30 feet should have a smoke detector at each end.

· Install smoke detectors at the top of each stairwell.

· Smoke detectors in kitchens should be kept away from cooking fumes or smoking areas.

· Install smoke detectors on walls at least 12 inches from the ceiling, not in a corner.

· Test and clean your smoke detectors on the first day of every month.

· Sweep them off every month. Too much dust will hinder operation.

· Most smoke detectors are battery operated. These batteries must be tested on a regular basis and, in most cases, should be replaced at least once or twice annually.

· Smoke detectors do not last forever. Check the manufacture/expiration date on the smoke detectors and replace as necessary. Replace any smoke detectors that are over 10 years old.

· Replace batteries if the detector “chirps.”

· Never disable a smoke detector.
“Two out of every five fire deaths are in homes that have no working smoke alarms,” said Chief Broome. “Taking a moment to install smoke detectors and replace the batteries during Daylight Saving Time twice a year are relatively simple tasks that have proven life-saving capabilities.”

The Valdosta Fire Department has a smoke detector installation program. Staff will install free smoke detectors in residences that are in need of one, and they will replace detectors that are not operational. For more information, call the Valdosta Fire Department at (229) 333-1836.

Sementha Mathews
Public Information Officer
City of Valdosta

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