LFD: ‘Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries’ not just a cute reminder

It’s that time of year again. When you change your clocks this weekend make sure you change the batteries in your smoke detectors. “Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries.” Is this really that important, or is it just another cute reminder from your local Fire Department?

Here are some fascinating but sobering facts from the Lakewood Board of Fire Commissioners in conjunction with Fire Chief Mike D’Elia Jr., Fire Prevention Coordinator Jacob Woolf, Fire Department Chaplain Rabbi Moshe Rotberg, and the members of the Lakewood Fire Department.

• 2 out of 3 fire deaths are in homes with non-functioning smoke alarms.
• In the United States, 62% of home fire deaths resulted from home fires with inoperable or no smoke alarms.
• 38% of total fire injuries occurred in homes with no smoke alarms.
• In reported home fires with inoperable alarms, 50% had missing, disconnected, or dead batteries.
• A home fire impacts the life of an American family every 85 seconds.
• On average, you and your family have less than 2 minutes from the time the first smoke alarm sounds to escape.
• Smoke alarms provide an early warning and critical extra seconds to escape – but only if they work!
• Most if not all of the above is preventable with properly located and working smoke alarms.

• Known as the invisible killer, CO is colorless & odorless.
• CO effects adults and children differently, if your detector goes off check on your children and/or the elderly.
• If your CO alarm goes off DON’T assume anything!
• There are numerous potential CO sources, not just your stove or oven.
• CO sources include: kitchen range or vent, water heater pipes, furnace, dryer, heaters, attached garage, neighboring apartments.
• Don’t be lulled into a false sense of security, while most of the time it’s “nothing”, when something does happen it can be deadly. ALWAYS be diligent.
• Standard smoke alarms don’t detect carbon monoxide.
• 35 million people are still at risk for carbon monoxide poisoning. Are you one of them?

Check out the following home safety tips… and put them to practical use!
• Test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors monthly to make sure they are working.
• Have at least one working smoke alarm on each level of your home.
• Install one carbon monoxide detector in a central location outside each separate sleeping area
• Carbon monoxide detectors are NOT substitutes for smoke alarms, they are NOT interchangeable.
• Never disconnect your smoke alarms and/or CO alarms – no matter how “annoying” they are!
• Do NOT rely on your sense of smell to alert you, by then it may be too late.
• If your detectors are more than 10 years old, the detectors need to be replaced, not just the batteries.
• 30 seconds and a 9-volt battery can save your life.

Calling on Shabbos and Yomim Tovim – Fire Department Chaplain Rabbi Moshe Rotberg says:
• Even when in doubt, if there is a chance of danger, one should call the appropriate authorities.
• One should not hesitate to call the Fire Department immediately. What may appear to the uneducated to be “nothing” may, in fact, be deadly.
• A safer choice for Yom Tov cooking is an electrical burner, which can be placed on the stove itself and be utilized with a timer.

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