(MIAMI, October 30, 2015) – Miami-Dade Fire Rescue (MDFR) urges residents to change the batteries in their smoke alarms when they “fall back” this Sunday, Nov. 1, 2015.
Although 92 percent of American homes have smoke alarms, many of them are non-functional. The most widespread cause of inoperable smoke alarms is worn or missing batteries. Nationally, non-working smoke alarms contribute to many of the estimated 3,600 deaths and 19,000 injuries caused each year by home fires.
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 a 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 you, giving you a precious window of opportunity to escape.
“During a fire, every second counts,” said Fire Chief Dave Downey. “When smoke alarms are properly installed and maintained, residents are given the early warning they need to get out of their home safely.”
Changing smoke alarm batteries while changing clocks twice a year is one of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce death and injuries. MDFR urges all residents to adopt the lifesaving habit of changing smoke alarm batteries when changing clocks this fall.
For more information, please contact MDFR’s Public Affairs Bureau at 786-331-5200.