Change your clock and your smoke alarm battery on Sunday

The Farmington Hills Fire Department joins nearly 6,000 fire departments nationwide in promoting the annual Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery campaign on Sunday, March 10.

Farmington Hills Fire Marshal Jason Baloga
Farmington Hills Fire Marshal Jason Baloga (City of Farmington Hills)

Fire Marshal Jason Baloga encourages all residents to adopt the simple, life-saving habit of changing smoke alarm batteries when they change their clocks from standard time to daylight savings time.

“It’s an easy, inexpensive, and proven way to protect your family and your home,” Baloga said in a press release.

Since 1987, thanks to the Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery campaign, home fire deaths across the nation continue to decline. Fire deaths in the State of Michigan, however, had an unfortunate 41 percent increase in 2018.

Today’s home fires grow in size faster than ever, typically allowing as little as one to two minutes to escape from the time the smoke alarm sounds, due to current home furnishings burning faster and producing more toxic gases and smoke. It is important to note that 60 percent of known fatal fires originated in the bedroom or living room. One important way to reduce deaths is to close doors and prevent fire spread and to facilitate escape.

Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted from fires in homes with either no smoke alarms or non-working smoke alarms. Smoke alarm failures usually result from missing or dead batteries or disconnected wires. The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when most families are sleeping; a working smoke alarm provides critical extra time needed to get out safely.

If your smoke alarm does not have a manufacture date or if you’ve had it for more than 10 years, it needs to be replaced. The Farmington Hills Fire Department recommends purchasing smoke alarms with 10-year lithium batteries. All smoke alarms should be tested monthly.

“The Farmington Hills Fire Department has a free smoke alarm installation program where we’ve installed hundreds of smoke alarms over the past 20 years and will continue to do so until everyone who needs a smoke alarm has one,” said Baloga. “The program is a group effort involving Fire Inspector Stan Barnes, the entire Fire Prevention Staff, and operational crews who have worked extremely hard to ensure that homes have working smoke alarms.”

For information about the free smoke alarm installation program, call the Fire Prevention Division at 248-871-2820.