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Thursday, March 8, 2012

Spring Forward - Spring Into Action - Change Your Clock - Change Your Battery

Twice a year, in the days leading up to time adjustment for Daylight Saving Time, members of the fire service remind everyone to complete an even more important task in addition to adjusting their clocks.  When you change your clock - change the battery in your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide (CO) detector as well.  Remember, this Sunday, March 11, we will adjust our clocks forward one hour for Daylight Saving Time and provide fresh batteries in your 24 hour protection against home tragedies; smoke alarms and CO detectors.

Prince George's County Acting Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor stated, “It is important for everyone to understand, that the best staffed, best equipped, and best funded Fire Department may not be able to save you in time, on their own. We must accept the personal responsibility to help ourselves, to make ourselves safety conscience and improve our home preparedness and safety.  Your first step is to install and maintain working smoke alarms and CO detectors.”
According to the United States Fire Administration,  every year, approximately 2,600 Americans die in home fires.  Over half of these deaths (52%) occur between the hours of 10:00pm and 7:00am, when residents are typically sleeping. Smoke and toxic gases from a home fire are as deadly as heat and flames.  Just two or three breaths of toxic smoke can render you unconscious.  The majority of fire victims die or are injured from exposure to smoke and toxic gases, such as carbon monoxide, not actual burns.  In addition, smoke obscures vision, decreasing your ability to escape.
Smoke alarms save lives, prevent injuries, and minimize property damage by detecting fires early and alerting residents, allowing crucial time for you and your family to escape.  The risk of dying from a fire in a home without working smoke alarms is twice as high as in a home that has working smoke alarms.

Please remember when you move your clocks forward this upcoming weekend to reflect the start of Daylight Savings Time; change the batteries in your smoke alarms and CO detectors as well.

Residents are reminded to:
  • Change the batteries in their smoke alarm and CO detectors at least once-a-year.
  • Test your alarms monthly by pressing the test button on the face of the alarm cover.  This task should be performed on the first day of every month - Safety First Day of the Month.
  • Install a smoke alarm on every level of your home.
  • Once your smoke alarm has protected you for 10 or more years and 8 years for CO detectors - it is time to retire it and obtain a new one.
  • Plan and practice a home escape in the event of an emergency-designate a safe meeting place outside.
Prince George's County citizens and residents are eligible to have a working smoke alarm installed in their home; free of charge.  Call our Safety First Smoke Alarm line at 301-864-SAFE (7233) and make your appointment.

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