(MIAMI, March 6, 2015) – Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) urges residents to change the batteries in their smoke alarms when clocks “spring forward” this Sunday, March 8, 2015. 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.
By ensuring that your home’s smoke alarms function, you can reduce the risk of harm due to a house fire. It’s important for residents to keep in mind the following:
•Always check and replace batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms every six months. An easy way to remember is to change the batteries when daylight savings begins and ends.
•Any smoke alarms that are older than ten years must be replaced; CO alarms older than five years must be replaced as well.
•Smoke alarms should be installed in or outside each bedroom and on every level of a home.
•Smoke alarms in the kitchen must be placed at least 10 feet away from cooking appliances to minimize the occurrence of false alarms when they’re in use.
•Wall-mounted alarms should be installed no more than 12 inches away from the ceiling.
•Do not install smoke alarms near windows, doors or ducts because drafts can interfere with their function.
The following are additional tasks that residents can do to ensure safety in their home:
•Check the contents of your family’s disaster preparedness kit to see what needs to be included or replaced.
•Check inside the home and storage areas outdoors for hazardous materials. For those that are outdated, no longer in use or in poor condition, discard them properly.
•Change batteries in other electronics in the home such as clocks, thermostats, outdoor lighting, phone accessories, flashlights and portable electronics.
For more information, please contact MDFR’s Public Affairs Bureau at 786-331-5200.