HELP SAVE LIVES IN YOUR COMMUNITY
REMIND YOUR FAMILY, FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS TO ADOPT A SIMPLE LIFESAVING CHANGE.
Although smoke alarms are present in 96 percent of American homes, 23 percent do not work, mostly because of dead or missing batteries. This means roughly 26 million homes are at risk due to non-working smoke alarms and another six million homes are at risk due to no smoke alarms. This prevents the U.S. from achieving the full potential of increased fire safety from smoke alarms.
The Reading Fire Department and Readingpafire.com do not endorse any specific brand of smoke detector or battery, but care about our citizens and promote the Change your Clock, Change your Battery program, presented by Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs, for their benefit. For more tips on smoke detectors, including their placement, visit our smoke detector page.
As the time change approaches on Sunday, November 4, the Reading Department of Fire and Rescue Services wants to remind residents to make another change that could save their lives, changing the batteries in their smoke alarms.
Communities nationwide witness tragic home fire deaths each year. An average of three children per day die in home fires and 80 percent of those occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Non-working smoke alarms rob residents of the protective benefits home fire safety devices were designed to provide. The most commonly cited cause of non-working smoke alarms: worn or missing batteries.
Changing smoke alarm batteries at least once a year is one of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries. In fact, working smoke alarms nearly cut in half the risk of dying in a home fire. Additionally, the International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends replacing your smoke alarms every ten years.
To save lives and prevent needless injuries in Reading, the Reading Department of Fire and Rescue Services has joined forces with Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs for the 19th year of the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery. campaign. The program urges all Americans to adopt a simple, lifesaving habit: changing smoke alarm batteries when changing clocks back to standard time each fall, this year on November 4.
The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when most families are sleeping, says Fire Chief William Rehr. Smoke alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths. Children and senior citizens are most at risk, and a working smoke alarm can give them the extra seconds they need to get out safely.
In addition, Chief Rehr recommends residents use the extra hour they
save from the time change to test smoke alarms by pushing the test button, planning two ways out and practicing escape routes with the entire family. Families should also prepare a fire safety kit that includes working flashlights and fresh batteries.
CHANGE YOUR CLOCK CHANGE YOUR BATTERY.
Tragically, fire can kill selectively. Those most at risk include:
Children - Approximately 1,000 children under the age of 20 die each year in home fires. Children under age five are at twice the risk of dying in a home fire. Eighty percent of fatal home fire victims who were children were killed in homes without working smoke alarms.
Seniors - Adults over age 75 are three times more likely to die in home
fires than the rest of the population; those over 85 are 4.5 times more likely to die in a home fire. Many seniors are unable to escape quickly.
Low-Income Households - Many low-income families are unable to afford batteries for their smoke alarms. These same households often rely on poorly installed, maintained or misused portable or area heating equipment, a main cause of fatal home fires.
For more information about fire safety, call the Reading Department of Fire and Rescue Services at 610-655-6080 or the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery. hotline at 314-995-3939, x104. or visit www.energizer.com/firesafety.