The Farmington Hills Fire Department and the National Fire Protection Association urge all residents to change their smoke alarm batteries when falling back from daylight savings time to standard time on Sunday, November 1.
“It’s an easy, inexpensive, and proven way to protect your family and your home,” Fire Marshal Jason Baloga said in a press release.
Unfortunately, there have been 90 deaths in 75 fires in the State of Michigan so far this year, a 25 percent increase compared to 2019.
Today’s synthetic home furnishings burn faster than ever and produce more toxic gases and smoke, typically allowing only one to two minutes to escape after the smoke alarm sounds. Since 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 is vital in providing critical extra time needed to get out safely.
Over 65 percent of known fatal fires originate in the living room or the bedroom, so the Fire Department also recommends you “Close Before You Doze” and sleep with bedroom doors closed to prevent fire from spreading and to facilitate escape.
Almost two-thirds of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarms or nonworking smoke alarms. All smoke alarms should be tested monthly to check for missing or dead batteries or disconnected wires. Smoke alarms should also be checked to see if they are outdated; since 2002 all smoke alarms must have the manufacture date marked on the outside.
If your smoke alarm does not show a manufacture date or if you’ve had it for more than ten years, it needs to be replaced. The Farmington Hills Fire Department recommends purchasing new smoke alarms with 10-year lithium batteries.
The Farmington Hills Fire Department has a free smoke alarm installation program for residents.
“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,” Baloga said.
For information about the free smoke alarm installation program, call 248-871-2820.