ROCK SPRINGS — Daylight‐saving time ends Sunday,November 3 and marks the 26th year of the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery program,sponsored by Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs. The Change Your Clock Change Your Battery Program reminds us to change and test the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. The message is simple and the habit can be lifesaving.
The Rock Springs Fire Department reminds residents that one simple step can help save their lives and the lives of those around them. Everyone is encouraged to use the extra hour they “gain” from daylight‐saving time to change the batteries in their own smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, test the alarms and remind friends, family, neighbors and fellow community members to do the same.
Communities nationwide witness tragic home fire deaths each year, but everyone can work together to help reduce the number of home fire fatalities. Non‐working smoke alarms rob residents of the protective benefits home fire safety devices were designed to provide. The most commonly cited cause of non‐working smoke alarms: worn or missing batteries.
“Eighty percent of child fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms. It’s a tragic statistic that could be reduced by adopting the simple habit of the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery program,” RSFD Chief Lyle Armstrong said. “Changing smoke alarm batteries at least once a year,testing those alarms and reminding others to do the same are some of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries.”
Additionally,the International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends that smoke alarms in homes be replaced every 10 years and to have both ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms to alert people to all types of home fires.
Why This Program is Lifesaving
“The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most families are sleeping,” Armstrong said. “Smoke alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths. Children and senior citizens are most at risk, and a working smoke alarm can give them the extra seconds they need to get out safely.”
In addition, Armstrong recommends residents not only use the “extra” hour they save from the time change to test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors and to plan and practice escape routes, but also to make sure fellow neighbors and community members do the same. Families should also prepare a fire safety kit that includes working flashlights and fresh batteries.
Tragically, home fires injure and kill thousands each year. Those most at risk include:
Children— Home fires kill 500 children ages 14 and under each year. Roughly three‐quarters of child fire fatalities under age 15 occurred in homes without working smoke alarms.
Seniors —Adults 75 and older are 2.8 times more likely to die in a home fire.
Low‐Income Households —Many low‐income families are unable to afford batteries for their smoke alarms. These same households often rely on poorly installed, maintained or misused portable or area heating equipment — a main cause of fatal home fires.
Pass it On
Twenty‐six ago, Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs recognized a disturbing trend that many home fire fatalities were taking place in homes without working smoke alarms. So, through the years, the two have worked together along with thousands of fire departments nationwide on the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® program to help reduce and hopefully, one day, eliminate this number by reminding communities to check, change and test their smoke alarm batteries.
And please share with friends and families so they can join the Energizer Bunny® Brigade as well. A working smoke detector doubles your chance of surviving a home fire. In addition, people are encouraged to use their extra hour gained to help out at a local fire department. Eighty percent of fire departments are volunteer fire departments and they can often use extra hands to help with non‐firefighting related tasks. Reach out to local fire department and see how to help.