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Family fire safety

Posted: October 20, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: October 20, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detec­tors when you change your clocks for the end of daylight saving time.

No one likes to think about bad things happening to their home or family. But things like home fires do happen — more often than you might think.

Home fires kill an average of seven people every day, and they cause billions of dollars in property damage. “We know fire safety is important to families,” said Michelle Atkinson, vice president of market­ing for Energizer North America. “Energizer is proud to partner with the International Association of Fire Chiefs and 6,400 fire departments around the country in their long-standing commitment to spreading the lifesaving message of fire safety and preparedness with tips like these.”

Here are some steps your family can take to protect your home and each other, and to under­stand the basics of fire safety.


Fire safety checklist


Your best defense

According to the National Fire Protec­tion Association (NFPA), working smoke alarms are your best chance for escaping a home fire. They can alert you to a fire 24 hours a day, seven days a week, whether you’re awake or asleep.

n    11 p.m. to 7 a.m. are the peak alarm times for home fire deaths — when people tend to be asleep and the house is likely to be dark.

n    On average, families have less than three minutes from the time the first smoke alarm sounds to escape a fire.

The NFPA says that in the U.S., almost two-thirds of home fire deaths resulted

from fires in homes with inoperable smoke alarms or no smoke alarms. In reported home fires in which the smoke alarms were present but did not operate:

n    Half of the smoke alarms had missing or disconnected batteries. Nuisance alarms were the leading reason for disconnected smoke alarms.

n    Almost one-quarter (23 percent) of the smoke alarm failures were due to dead batteries.

n    Only seven percent of the failures were due to hardwired power source problems, including disconnected smoke alarms, power outages and power shut-offs.

Fire safety checklist

Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area.

n    Best location — On the ceiling in the center of the room, at least 12 inches from any wall.

n    Second best location —
On a wall 12 inches below the ceiling.

Test alarms once a month.

n    To reach it, stand on a chair or use a broom handle, and push the unit’s test button. If you don’t hear anything, the battery is probably dead. If the unit still doesn’t sound after you’ve changed the battery, replace it with a new smoke alarm.

Change batteries at least once a year.

n    The clock change for day­light saving time is an easy way to remember to change your batteries, as well.

Install a fire extinguisher in or near the kitchen.

n    Use a multi-purpose fire extinguisher suitable for
use on multiple flammable materials.

n    Check the pressure regularly to make sure it’s at the recommended level.

Keep flashlights with fresh batteries at your bedside for help in finding the way out and signaling for help in the event of a fire. Develop and practice an emergency escape plan.


For 25 years, Energizer and the International Associa­tion of Fire Chiefs have been spreading the life-saving reminder to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detec­tors when you change your clocks for the end
of daylight saving time.
And please remind your friends, family and neighbors to do the same.

Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® is part of the Energizer campaign — that’s positivenergy™ — which combines a commitment to performance in pro­ducts and responsibility
in partnerships and programs that make a positive impact on the world. Learn more at

You can download a free Escape Plan Grid at to help.


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