Kanawha County Emergency Services reminds you to not only change you clocks for Daylight Savings Time but to check your smoke alarms, too.

“Smoke alarms are an essential life safety tool,” said C.W. Sigman, Kanawha County Emergency Services Director. “Working smoke alarms significantly increase your chance of surviving a home fire. A properly installed and maintained smoke alarm is the only thing in your home that can alert you and your family 24 hours a day, seven days a week.”

Two-thirds of home fire deaths result from fires in homes without a working smoke alarm, according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA). Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. With earlier warning, people have more time to escape a burning structure and call to 911. Local fire fighters recommend installing a smoke alarm in every bedroom, outside of every bedroom and on each floor of your home.

In addition to changing your smoke alarm batteries this weekend, local fire fighters recommend these simple steps to help protect your family:

  • Test smoke alarms monthly using the test button.
  • Change smoke alarm batteries at least once a year.
  • Replace smoke alarms if they are more than 10 years old or do not work properly when tested.
  • Know your smoke alarm – some alarms utilize standard 9V batteries while others may be equipped with 10-year batteries. Alarms that utilize standard 9V batteries should be changed at least once a year.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, both inside and outside of sleeping areas.
  • Make sure everyone in your home recognizes the warning sound of the smoke alarm.
  • Develop and practice a home escape plan and select one family meeting place to reduce confusion during an emergency.

Local fire fighters recommend taking time this weekend as you check and change batteries, to review your home escape plan with your family. Practice your plan so that you and your loved ones can get out of your home safely should there be a fire.

Thirty-one Kanawha County fire departments, along with Metro 911, are funded in-part by the Kanawha County Safety Levy, which is on the May 9 ballot. This is not a new tax, but a renewal of the levy supporting local ambulance, bus and emergency services that was first passed in 1973.

“Our emergency response system is critical to our quality of life and economic vitality,” said W. Kent Carper, Kanawha County Commission President. “The Safety Levy gives us an important opportunity to maintain the level of service provided by our local fire fighters and emergency responders, even as the number of incidents increase.”



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