NASHVILLE — Having set clocks forward one hour to mark the beginning of daylight saving time on Sunday, Tennesseans should use this opportunity to check the batteries of their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors to ensure these important devices are functioning.
“With the cold-weather months behind us, some residents might not take home fire safety as seriously as they would during winter,” said Assistant Commissioner for Fire Prevention Gary Farley. “I urge Tennesseans to remain focused on fire safety all year by ensuring they have working smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors installed in their homes. If residents need smoke alarms in their homes, they should contact their local fire department today and ask if they participate in our ‘Get Alarmed, Tennessee!’ smoke alarm program.”
Most fire fatalities occur at night while victims are sleeping. The harmful smoke and toxic gases generated by a home fire can cause people to sleep more deeply which reduces the likelihood of escaping a home fire. Working smoke alarms can alert a home’s sleeping residents, thereby doubling the chances of survival by increasing the amount of time residents have to escape a house fire.
In 2020, at least 27 residents escaped home fires after being alerted by alarms installed through the “Get Alarmed, Tennessee!” program. Since 2012, more than 300 people have been alerted by smoke alarms installed by local fire departments through the program.
When it comes to smoke alarms, remember:
•Install working smoke alarms inside and outside of every sleeping area and have at least one alarm on every level of the home. Make sure everyone in the home can hear the alarm and knows what it sounds like.
•To help ensure the safety of Tennesseans, consumers should replace the batteries in their home’s smoke alarms twice a year in both smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors unless they have smoke alarms with 10-year sealed batteries.
•Smoke alarms with 10-year sealed batteries are available and designed to last for the life of the alarm. If the alarm chirps on these units, the entire smoke alarm must be replaced right away.
•Remember to test alarms once a month using the alarm’s “test” button.
•In addition to working smoke alarms, residents should also devise a fire escape plan with two ways out of every room and a designated common meeting place far enough away from the home. Share and practice the plan with all who live in the home, including children.
•When a smoke alarm sounds, get out of the home immediately and go to your pre-planned meeting place to call 9-1-1.