The City of Batavia Fire Department joins fire departments nationwide in promoting the annual “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery” campaign on Sunday, Nov. 1. Fire Chief Stefano Napolitano encourages all residents to adopt the simple, life-saving habit of changing smoke alarm batteries when they change their clocks back from daylight savings time to standard time.
“It’s an easy, inexpensive, and proven way to protect your family and your home,” Chief Napolitano said. “Plus with winter quickly approaching and most everyone turning their heating systems on, it also makes this an ideal time to make sure your heating system is working properly. This is a great opportunity to check your carbon monoxide detectors as well.”
Today’s home fires grow in size faster than ever, typically allowing as little as one to two minutes to escape a home fire from the time the smoke alarm sounds, due to current home furnishings burning faster and producing more toxic gases and smoke. One thing that is instrumental in reducing deaths is to close doors to prevent the fire from spreading and to facilitate escape.
Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with either no smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms. Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing or dead batteries or disconnected wires. The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when most families are sleeping; a working smoke alarm provides the critical extra time needed to get out safely.
According to the NFPA, the maximum life cycle of a smoke alarm is 10 years from the date of manufacture, not the date of installation. Beginning in 2002, all smoke alarms must have a manufacture date marked on the outside of the smoke alarm. If your smoke alarm does not have a manufacture date or if you’ve had it for more than 10 years, it needs to be replaced.
The City of Batavia Fire Department recommends purchasing smoke alarms with 10-year lithium batteries. All smoke alarms should be tested monthly.
"The City of Batavia Fire Department has a free smoke alarm installation program,” Chief Napolitano said. “If you do not have a smoke detector or if you are unsure the batteries are working properly, members of the City of Batavia Fire Department will come to your home and ensure that you have a working smoke detector, absolutely free of charge. Call (585) 345-6375 to set up an in-home appointment.”