Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) urges residents to change the batteries in their smoke alarms when clocks “spring forward” this Sunday, March 11, 2012. Although 92 percent of American homes have smoke alarms, non-working smoke alarms contribute to many of the estimated 3,600 deaths and 19,000 injuries caused each year by home fires. Nationally, the most widespread cause of inoperable smoke alarms is worn or missing batteries.
The most common cause of a failing smoke alarm is a missing, dead or disconnected battery. A working smoke alarm can reduce the risk of dying in a home fire by approximately 50 percent, but it is estimated that one-third of them don’t work. Properly working smoke alarms provide an early warning of fire and extra time to escape it. Smoke alarms save lives!
Most fatal fires occur at night when people are asleep. Often, victims never wake up. Working smoke alarms will detect smoke and sound an alarm to alert occupants, providing a precious window of opportunity to escape. Changing smoke alarm batteries while changing clocks twice a year is one of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce fire deaths and injuries.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue urges all residents to adopt the lifesaving habit of changing smoke-alarm batteries when changing clocks this spring. For more information, please contact MDFR’s Public Affairs Bureau at 786-331-5200.