Use 'extra hour' to make life-saving change, plan

Posted: Sunday, October 26, 2003

If you seem to be out of sync with the rest of the world this morning, it could be you forgot to set your clock back an hour.

And if you forgot to set your clock back an hour, it's very likely you also didn't change the battery in your smoke alarm. So today make the time to make that change it's one that could save your life.

According to information provided by Central Emergency Services, 94 percent of homes in the United States have smoke alarms, but 20 percent of those alarms don't work because of worn or missing batteries. That's tragic because working smoke alarms nearly cut in half the risk of dying in a home fire. Working smoke alarms provide precious extra seconds to escape a fire. That's particularly important for those most at risk of dying in a home fire: children and seniors.

An average of three children die each day in home fires throughout the nation, according to CES. Fire is the second leading cause of accidental deaths among children under the age of 5. Eighty percent of fire deaths involving children occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Adults over the age of 75 are three to four times more likely to die in house fires than the rest of the population because they are unable to escape quickly.

CES joins with other fire departments to encourage residents to use the hour they gained with the time change to test their smoke alarms, develop an escape plan and practice that escape plan with the entire family.

It may prove to be the most valuable hour of your life.

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