(NAPS)—Surprising to many Americans is the fact that 25 million homes are at needless risk due to worn or missing smoke detectors, according to the National Fire Protection Association. Though 96 percent of American homes have smoke alarms, 19 percent do not have at least one smoke alarm that works, mostly due to dead or missing batteries. This is just one reason why the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) and Energizer remind families to keep safe this fall by changing the batteries in their smoke alarms when they change their clocks back from daylight saving time.
In 2008, the day to set your clocks back and change the batteries in your smoke detectors is November 2.
The Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® message also reminds families to change the batteries in their carbon monoxide detectors and their emergency flashlights so they are prepared in case a severe winter storm causes a power outage in their home.
The Change Your Clock Change Your Battery campaign is part of an overall family safety program championed by Energizer and the IAFC. Through their Keep Safe. Keep Going® initiative, the two organizations not only inform families about fire safety in the fall, but they also encourage them to be prepared for natural disasters that typically occur during spring and summer months.
IAFC reminds people that the best way to protect your family in a home fire is to have a working smoke detector. A smoke detector doubles your chances of surviving a home fire—but only if it works.
Here are some safety facts from the IAFC you need to know:
• 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. are the peak hours for home fires—when most people are asleep and the house is dark.
• Approximately every three hours, a home fire death occurs somewhere in the nation.
• Two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes without working smoke alarms.
• Only 23 percent of U.S. families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan to ensure they could escape quickly and safely. Developing a family emergency escape plan can be crucial to everyone’s safety.
Carbon Monoxide Facts
• Carbon monoxide is sometimes called “the silent killer.” It is colorless, odorless and tasteless.
• More than 500 people in the U.S. die each year from accidental carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning.
• Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning include headache, weakness, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, chest pain and confusion.
• Candles used for light in the absence of electrical power cause one-third of fatal home fires.
• Candles are the third-leading cause of injuries from home fires, following cooking and heating.
• When your power goes out, use flashlights instead of candles.
• Use the time change to check the batteries in your flashlights.
The IAFC is a nonprofit association representing nearly 13,000 chief fireofficers and emergency services leaders worldwide. Its members are the world’s leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural disasters, search and rescue and public safety legislation.
You can learn more about fire safety online at www.iafc.org and www.energizer.com.
A smoke detector doubles your chances of surviving a home fire—but only if it works.