The Iowa City Fire Department reminds residents that when you change your clocks ahead one hour this Sunday, March 13 to start Daylight Saving Time, you should also change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. Maintaining fresh batteries in these systems is one of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce the incidence of injuries or fatalities, and the National Fire Protection Association reports that people have nearly a 50 percent better chance of surviving a fire if their home has the recommended number of working smoke alarms.
In addition to replacing old batteries, the Fire Department recommends that you:
- Make sure you have enough smoke alarms installed in your home. There should be one in every bedroom, outside each sleeping area, and on every level of your home.
- Vacuum around the outside of the alarm to remove dust particles and small bugs that could impact the unit's effectiveness.
- Test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors by pushing the test button.
- Replace any smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors that are 10 years old or older.
- Develop a fire escape plan that includes two ways out of every room in the house.
- Practice the fire escape plan with the entire family, and refresh training on stop, drop, and roll.
- Prepare a home safety kit that includes a working flashlight and fresh batteries.
For more information about this and other safety issues, visit the National Fire Protection Association website at http://www.nfpa.org/safety-information.