ESCAPE Fire Safety

Safety For You: change your clocks, check your alarms

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOTV) - Sunday, Nov. 4, is time to move the clocks one hour back. It's also a good time every year to check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and change the batteries as needed.

The National Fire Protection Association reports 71 percent of smoke alarms which failed to operate had missing, disconnected or dead batteries, making it important to take this time each year to check your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

Working smoke and carbon monoxide alarms double the chance of a family surviving a home fire and/or an unsafe carbon monoxide level.

E.S.C.A.P.E. Fire Safety encourages you to use this checklist to find out if you are taking the right steps to protect your family:

  1. Count Your Smoke Alarms - Be sure there is at least one smoke alarm less than 10 years old installed on every level of your home, including one in every bedroom and outside each sleeping area.
  2. Change Your Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Alarm Batteries - Fire experts nationwide encourage people to change their smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries at least once a year, unless the alarms have sealed, 10-year batteries.  An easy way to remember to do so is to change the battery when you move the clock back to standard time November 4th. 
  3. Check Your Smoke Alarm and Carbon Monoxide Alarm - After inserting a fresh battery in each smoke and carbon monoxide alarm, push the safety test button to make sure the alarms are in proper-working condition.  Conduct this test monthly.  Never disconnect your smoke alarm battery!  Remember that a "chirping" alarm is a signal it needs a fresh battery.
  4. Clean Your Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarms - Ensure your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms' sensitivity by cleaning them each month of dust and cobwebs.
  5. Replace Your Smoke Alarms - The United States Fire Administration recommends replacing smoke alarms every 10 years and having a combination of both ionization and photo electric smoke alarms to keep you alert to all types of home fires.
  6. Change Your Flashlight Batteries - Keep flashlights with fresh batteries at your bedside for help in finding the way out and signaling for help in the event of a fire or power outage.
  7. Get the Whole Family Involved - Once smoke and carbon monoxide alarms have fresh batteries installed, you should make sure family members, children in particular, know what the alarms sound like and what to do should they go off...Get Out and Stay Out and then call 911 from a safe meeting place once outside!

If you need free smoke and/or carbon monoxide alarm installed, contact your local fire department, email WOTV's Operation Save A Life program at escape@wotv4women.com or call toll free 1-844-978-4400.

Here is a complete list of West Michigan smoke alarm installation programs.

Sometimes saving a life can be that simple - Change Your Clocks and Check Your Alarms Where You Live!


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