Sunday morning at 2 AM, Regional Radio News is reminding our listeners to not forget to turn your clocks back as daylight saving time comes to an end. It’s also a good time to test, inspect, and replace any broken or expired smoke and CO alarms at the same time. Smoke alarms only have a life span of ten years before they need to be replaced and if you alarm was manufactured before October of 2013, you should replace it with a ten-year-sealed battery device.
The National Fire Protection Association reports that between 2014 and 2018, almost three out of every five home fire deaths in the US resulted from fires in homes with no smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms. Deaths per 1,000 reported home fires was twice as high in homes that did not have any working smoke alarms compared to the rate in homes with working smoke alarms. In homes that had smoke alarms that did not operate, two of every five smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. Dead batteries cause 26% of the smoke alarm failures.
The Office of the Illinois State Fire Marshal is offering some tips help your family prepare or update their home fire escape plan. You should get everyone in your home together and make a home escape plan. Walk through your home and look for two ways out of every room. Make sure escape routes are clear of debris and doors and windows open easily.
Plan an outside meeting place where everyone will meet once they have escaped. Make sure it’s someplace permanent, like a tree, light pole, or mailbox. Also, make sure someone is assigned to help those who can’t help themselves such as infants, older adults, and family members who have mobility limitations. If the smoke alarm sounds, get outside and stay outside. The OSFM says to never go back into a burning building. If someone is missing, inform the fire department dispatcher when you call so they can assist.
More tips on fire escape planning can be found by visiting https://www.nfpa.org/