When re-setting the clock this weekend — check smoke alarms

Published 2:32 pm Tuesday, November 2, 2021

As people turn their clocks back this weekend for the end of daylight-saving time, it is also time to test your smoke alarms.
Carter County experienced its first fire fatality of the season this past weekend — a reminder that home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster and tragically take seven lives every day in this country.
It’s critical to take action now to be as safe as possible as the threat of home fires increase with the holidays and cooler weather. In the past 12 weeks, the American Red Cross Tennessee Region, notes that Red Cross volunteers have responded to 2,269 home fires. The good news is that you can take a few simple steps this weekend to help protect your loved ones.
During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. As the clocks “fall back” when daylight-saving time ends on Sunday, Nov. 7, it’s also the perfect time to test your smoke alarms and replace the batteries if needed.
In addition to testing your smoke alarms this weekend, follow these three steps to get your home ready:
• Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas.
• Replace smoke alarms that are 10 years or older. Components such as sensors can become less sensitive over time. Follow your alarm’s manufacturer instructions.
• Practice your two-minute home fire escape plan. Make sure everyone in your household can get out in less than two minutes — that’s the amount of time you may have to escape a burning home before it’s too late. Include at least two ways to get out of every room and select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark, like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone can meet.
If you don’t have smoke alarms in your home, this is a good time to get them.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, almost two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in properties without a working smoke detector. Properly installed and maintained smoke detectors are the only thing that can alert you to a fire in your home 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
When an alarm makes a beeping or chirping sound, you must take action, the National Fire Protection Association says. A beep is a sound to get out of the house and call 911. A chirp is an alert to replace the batteries.
Let’s prepare for a safer winter and year ahead by making sure the smoke alarms in our homes work properly. It may mean the difference in a life saved.

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