SHREWSBURY, Massachusetts – Yes, it’s fall – not winter. I know that’s hard to believe, but it’s true…winter is still a couple of months away – the chill blowing at my house. This weekend, we turn back our clocks and grab that extra hour of sleep that we look forward to all year. With that, of course, is the time to change all the batteries in your smoke detectors, and your carbon monoxide detectors. Check out the memo below, from Shrewsbury Fire Chief Jim Vuona which talks a bit about fire safety, as well as the free batteries and detectors available to seniors in need.
“Just a week after Halloween, Sunday, November 3 marks the end of Daylight Saving Time. Change your clock, change your battery! When you turn the clocks back one hour, don’t forget to change the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms,” said State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan.
Approximately every three hours a home fire death occurs somewhere in the nation and the majority occur in homes without working smoke alarms. The most commonly cited causes of non-working smoke alarms are worn or missing batteries. It is imperative that people are aware of the necessity of having working home fire safety devices, in order to protect their families from fire. Communities nationwide witness tragic home fire deaths each year, but there is something that can be done. Coan said, “The easy task of changing the batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms can mean the difference between life and death. Everyone can work together to help reduce the number of home fire deaths.”
Coan said, “When you change the batteries on your home fire safety devices this year, inspect the alarms and check the date of manufacture. All electronic devices have a limited life span, so it is important that you replace your older smoke and carbon monoxide alarms with new ones to protect your family.”
Smoke alarms need to be replaced every ten years. If your smoke alarm is ten years old or older, it is time to replace them! Carbon monoxide alarms need to be replaced every five or seven years, depending on the manufacturer. Check for a date of manufacture on the back of the device, or consult the manufacturer’s instructions for the recommended replacement date. If you can’t tell how old they are, it’s time to replace them.
Be Prepared: Plan and Practice Escape Routes
“The peak time for home fire fatalities is when most families are asleep, between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.,” says State Fire Marshal Stephen D. Coan. “Smoke alarm maintenance is an effortless, efficient way to reduce home fire deaths.” In addition, Coan recommends residents to also take the time to plan and practice escape routes. “Home fire drills will increase the understanding and confidence that family members need in the case of an emergency,” said Coan.
For our elderly town residents we have a limited amount of free batteries and free CO detectors available for installation by the Shrewsbury Fire Department. Please contact the Council on Aging at (508) 841- 8640 to get your name on the list. Anyone in need of assistance with a home escape plan or other fire safety information, please call or stop by Shrewsbury Fire Headquarters.
Thanks and Be SAFE!!!
Fire Chief James Vuona