State Fire Marshal Doug Jorgensen and his staff remind all Kansans this Sunday, March 8, is the day to “Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries.” By routinely changing the batteries in smoke detectors at the same time they adjust their clocks for daylight savings time, Kansans can safeguard the lives of their loved ones.
"Your risk of dying in a fire is greatly reduced when your home is equipped with working smoke alarms," said Jorgensen. "Having smoke detectors with dead batteries is no different than having no smoke detectors at all. When you change the time on your clocks, take the time to protect your family by changing the batteries on your smoke detectors and testing them to make sure they are in proper working order."
According to data collected through the Kansas Fire Incident Reporting System (KFIRS), over the past five years 39% of structure fire deaths resulted from fires in properties without working smoke alarms. A working smoke alarm significantly increases your chances of surviving a deadly home fire.
To protect your home, follow these smoke alarm safety tips:
Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area and on every level of your home, including in the basement.
Smoke alarms with non-replaceable (long-life) batteries are designed to remain effective for up to 10 years. If the alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low, replace the entire smoke alarm right away.
For smoke alarms with any other type of battery, replace batteries at least once a year. If that alarm chirps, replace only the battery. Date each unit when they are installed and replace them after ten years – or sooner if they don’t successfully pass the test by sounding the alarm when the Test button is pressed.
In addition to changing smoke alarm batteries, it is also a good idea to practice a family escape plan:
Plan and practice two escape routes out of every room in your house.
Designate an outside meeting place.
In case of fire, call 9-1-1 once you are safely outside your home.
Once outside, stay outside and don’t return for anything – not even a pet.