03/09/13 As we “Spring forward” with daylight savings time, the LaPaz-North Township Fire Department reminds you to take care of a very important task – change the battery in your smoke detector. When you change your clock this upcoming Saturday, March 9, please take the time to change the battery in the smoke detectors throughout your home.
“The LaPaz-North Township Fire Department supports the ‘Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery’ campaign, to help families stay safe and save lives,” said Chief Chris Oginsky. He continued, “By taking the time to replace the battery in your smoke alarm, you can sleep better knowing that you’ve provided one of the best ways to alert your family should a fire occur.”
Indiana had 47 fatalities in 2011 and 2012, due to either non-working smoke alarms or having no smoke alarms at all. This year Indiana has had 22 such fatalities. One of the most important fire safety devices for the home is the smoke detector. Because most fatal fires occur at night, the job of your smoke detector is to protect you and your family from fires while you are asleep. A working smoke detector will provide the early warning that can increase your chances of surviving a fire by 50 percent.
The LaPaz-North Township Fire Department offers the following information for installing and maintaining smoke detectors:
- Install smoke detectors in hallways that lead to sleeping areas, basements and each additional level of your home. Call your local fire department if you are unsure about placement.
- Smoke detectors should be mounted on the ceiling four (4) inches from the walls. Do not install near draft areas (windows, vents).
- Keep your smoke detectors working. Change the batteries and vacuum at least once a year. Dust and cobwebs can impair sensitivity.
- Test your smoke detector monthly! To do this, press the battery test button on the front of the smoke detector. If a high pitch sound is heard, the battery is working properly.
- Fire won’t wait – Plan your escape!! Crawl low in smoke. You’ve got to have a plan. Prepare and practice an escape plan including a meeting place outside. The meeting place should be far enough from the house to ensure safety from the fire.