By XMR Fire Webmaster on Wednesday, 21 March 2012
Category: Latest News

Change Batteries, Replace Old Smoke Alarms

Good Timing: Change Batteries, Replace Old Smoke Alarms

Daylight Saving Time is a great opportunity to remind residents to replace the batteries in their smoke alarms, but there is more that can be done.  Many residents are putting new batteries into smoke alarms that are 10-years-old or older.  This can be extremely dangerous.  Smoke alarms that are 10-years-old, or older, are no longer reliable.

The USFA's Install. Inspect. Protect. smoke alarm campaign offers fire departments and thepublic free smoke alarm fact sheets, posters, pre-written articles and community presentation materials in English and Spanish.  The time change creates the perfect opportunity to take advantage of these materials in community presentations, door-to-door canvassing, at fairs, in newsletters and on websites.  Public service announcements are available in English and Spanish and can be played at events, postedonline or given to public service directors at your local TV and radio stations.

Visit Install. Inspect. Protect's campaign page.  It features sections for residents and members of theFire Service.  The campaign materials' download page includes an auto-updated electronic widget that can be added to your webpage to remind users to replace their smoke alarms installed 10 years ago.

Preventing Home Heating Fires

The high cost of home heating fuels and utilities have many residents in your community searching foralternative home heating sources, such as wood burning stoves, space heaters, and fireplaces. As your department knows, heating is one of the leading causes of residential fires. Over one-quarter of these fires result from improper maintenance of equipment, specifically the failure to clean the equipment.

Carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning is another danger when using heating equipment fueled by fossil fuel.  CO deaths have been on the rise since 1999. On average, there were 181 unintentional non-fire deaths from CO poisoning associated with consumer products per year from 2004-2006 compared to 123 from 1999-2001 (Source: Consumer Product Safety Commission). Carbon monoxide poisoning is most fatal to adults age 65 or older. Remind residents to install and maintain carbon monoxide alarms to avoid risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Incorporate the following heating fire safety tips and statistics into your department's newsletters, e-mails, website and media interviews:

Many heating fires can be prevented by following basic safety tips when dealing with any heating equipment:

Wood Burning Stoves and Fireplaces

Use a metal or glass fireplace screen to keep sparks from hitting nearby carpets or furniture.

Be sure the fireplace or stove is installed properly.  Wood stoves should have adequate clearance (three feet) from combustible surfaces and proper floor support and protection.

Kerosene Heaters

Electric Heaters