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Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Change Your Clock - Change Your Battery

MEDIA CONTACT: Mark E. Brady, Chief Spokesperson, 240-508-7930

Each year the men and women of the Prince George’s County Fire/Emergency Medical Services (EMS)Department remind our citizens and residents to save lives and limit property damage by promoting working smoke alarms.  A "working" smoke alarm is one that has a battery or is powered with house current and emits an audible warning when the test button is pushed.

Twice a year we promote our campaign that when citizens and residents change their clocks to change their battery in their smoke and CO alarms as well. It is especially important in the Fall when cold weather is upon us and the possibility of fire increases as everyone tries to stay warm.

Daylight Saving Time will end on Sunday, November 4, 2012. Citizens and residents are reminded that when they move their clocks back 1 hour that they also provide a fresh battery in their smoke and CO alarms as well.

• Having a working smoke alarm increase the chances of surviving a fire by 50%

• No smoke alarms were present in 43% of the home fire deaths. Either no alarm or there was a non-working smoke alarm - mostly attributed to the lack of a battery or power.

• An estimated 890 lives, 1/3 of total fire deaths, could be saved each year if all homes had working smoke alarms!

According to statistics provided by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA),  six people die every day in home fires.  The early warning provided by smoke alarms can make a big difference. Occupants who have working smoke alarms in their homes die in fires at about half the rate of those who do not have alarms.

The Prince George’s County Fire/EMS Department, as well as every Department in the National Capital Region, has a free smoke alarm program. Simply call our Safety First Line at 301-864-SAFE (7233) and a firefighter will come to your house and install a new smoke alarm for you; FREE OF CHARGE!!! You can also apply on-line by clicking here.

Fire Chief Marc S. Bashoor stated, "It’s a Law we can live with!!!  Safety First will ensure everyone goes home."   In Prince George’s County residents are required by law to have at least one working smoke alarm in your home. The Fire/EMS Department recommends you have one on every level of your home and if you sleep with your bedroom door closed; have a working smoke alarm installed in your bedroom as well.  


Test your smoke alarm every first day of the month by pushing the test button.

Change the battery in your alarm at least once-a-year.

Clean your smoke alarm on a regular basis with a clean rag or vacuum.

Replace your smoke alarm if it is more than 10 years old - Replace your CO alarms every 8 years.

Thanks to Energizer Battery for donating over 300 9-volt batteries and to Duracell Batteries that donated an equal number of AA batteries.  These batteries will be provided free of charge to residents that need one and can not afford one.  Call us at 301-864-SAFE (7233) for more information.

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