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The original item was published from 3/3/2016 4:01:24 PM to 3/18/2016 12:00:07 AM.

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Bristol News

Posted on: March 3, 2016

[ARCHIVED] Change Your Batteries

Daylight saving time begins Sunday, March 13, and marks the 28th year of the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® program. The Change Your Clock Change Your Battery Program reminds us to change, and test, the batteries in our smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors. The Bristol Fire Department reminds everyone that this one simple step can help save lives.

Communities nationwide witness tragic home fire deaths each year, but everyone can work together to help reduce the number of home fire fatalities. Non-working smoke alarms rob people of the protective benefits that home fire safety devices are designed to provide. The most commonly cited causes of non-working smoke alarms are dead or missing batteries.

“Eighty percent of child fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms. It’s a tragic statistic and that percentage, and the number of fatalities, can be reduced by adopting the simple safety practice encouraged through the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® program,” says Assistant Fire Chief Jack Spurgeon.

Changing smoke alarm batteries at least twice a year, testing those alarms and reminding others to do the same are some of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce home fire deaths and injuries. Additionally, the Bristol Fire Department recommends that smoke alarms be replaced every 10 years.

“The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. This is when most families are sleeping, and it is imperative for the home to be equipped with properly working early warning devices, such as smoke detectors,” says Assistant Chief Spurgeon.

Tragically, home fires injure and kill thousands each year. Those most at risk include:

• Children — Home fires kill 500 children ages 14 and under each year. Roughly three-quarters of child fire fatalities under age 15 occurred in homes without working smoke alarms.

• Seniors — Adults 75 and older are 2.8 times more likely to die in a home fire.

• Low-Income Households — Many low-income families are unable to afford batteries for their smoke alarms. These same households often rely on improperly installed, poorly maintained or misused portable or area heating equipment, a leading cause of fatal home fires.

The Bristol Fire Department has partnered with the State of Tennessee and the American Red Cross in providing our fire prevent smoke alarm installation program. For more emergency safety information, call the Bristol TN Fire Department at (423) 989-5701.

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