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Check fire alarms when setting clocks

The Charleston Fire Department has a reminder:

When you change your clocks for daylight-savings time this weekend, change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and please remind friends, family and neighbors to do the same.

Twenty-five years ago, Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs recognized that many home fire fatalities were taking place in homes without working smoke alarms.

So the Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery program was developed to help reduce and one day eliminate this number.

 Change your smoke alarm batteries and make sure smoke alarms are working when you  set your clocks.

Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in reported home fire structures in half. As a 22-year fire service veteran, I have witnessed firsthand the tragedy and devastation of home fires. It's even more heartbreaking when a young life is cut short.

The tragedy of the Arlington Avenue fire back in March of this year still haunts me. We lost nine lives in that fire and we don't want to ever see this happen again.

Overall, almost 66 percent of home fire deaths in this country occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Residential fire deaths peak in winter months, so it's critical to check and change your smoke alarm batteries every fall.

Remember, rely on smoke alarms to wake you up if there is a fire, just as you rely on an alarm clock to wake you up to get ready for work.

Smoke or the smell of smoke will not wake you up.

Charles E. Overstreet


Overstreet is chief of the Charleston Fire Department.


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