Communities nationwide witness tragic home fire deaths each year. Non-working smoke alarms rob residents of the protective benefits home fire safety devices were designed to provide. The most commonly cited cause of non-working smoke alarms: worn or missing batteries. Santa Barbara County has experienced deadly fires in homes with missing or non-working smoke detectors.
Changing smoke alarm batteries at least twice per year is one of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries. In fact, working smoke alarms nearly cut in half the risk of dying in a home fire. Additionally, the International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends replacing your smoke alarms every ten years.
To save lives and prevent needless injuries, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department has joined the “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery” campaign. The program urges all Americans to adopt a simple, lifesaving habit: changing smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries when changing clocks to daylight savings time. The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when most families are sleeping. Smoke alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths. A working smoke alarm can give your family the extra seconds you need to get out of a home fire safely.
In addition, the Santa Barbara County Fire Department recommends residents use the “extra” hour they save from the time change to test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors by pushing the test button, planning “two ways out” and practicing escape routes with the entire family. Families should also prepare a fire safety kit that includes working flashlights and fresh batteries.