Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Area Briefs

March 9, 2014

Fire marshal: Change alarm batteries

Daylight Saving Time begins today.

INDIANAPOLIS — The Indiana State Fire Marshal’s office is urging Hoosiers to change the batteries in their smoke alarms at the same time they change their clocks to Daylight Saving Time today.

“The annual change from Standard Time to Daylight Saving Time is a good reminder to make sure your smoke alarms are working and have new batteries,” said Indiana State Fire Marshal James Greeson. “So far this year, there have been more than 30 fire fatalities in Indiana and several of those occurred in homes with no working smoke alarm. There’s no question that working smoke alarms save lives.”

Greeson urges all Indiana residents to have at least one working smoke detector. He notes they are relatively inexpensive and many fire stations and organizations offer free smoke alarms, especially to low-income families, seniors, at-risk families or families with members who, for various reasons, may need extra time to get out of a home.

The best advice is to have a smoke alarm outside of each sleeping area, he said. At the minimum, there should be one alarm on each floor of the home, including the basement. He offered more tips to consider:

• Test all smoke alarms every month to ensure they are working properly.

• Purchase long-life smoke alarms with lithium-powered batteries. Regular batteries should be changed at least once a year, preferably twice.

• Replace any smoke alarms that are more than 10 years old.

• Occasionally remove any dust from the front of the smoke alarm.

• Devise a family escape plan and practice it at least every six months. Plans should include at least two different ways each family member could escape various parts of the house. Designate a special place outside the home where family members are to meet after escaping a fire.

• For those renting a home or apartment, by law it is the landlord’s responsibility to have at least one working smoke alarm.

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