FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
October 28, 2010


State fire marshal encourages Missourians to use extra hour next weekend to change smoke alarm batteries


Contact:               Mike O'Connell (573) 751-4819                                 Mike.oconnell@dps.mo.gov

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Oct. 28, 2010
State fire marshal encourages Missourians to use extra hour next weekend to change smoke alarm batteries   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – State Fire Marshal Randy Cole encourages Missourians to make the most of the hour they will gain next weekend— due to the end of Daylight Saving Time—by changing the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
"Studies show that about 90 percent of U.S. homes have smoke alarms, but that often the batteries are dead or missing," said Marshal Cole. "The simple act of installing a fresh battery is one of the best ways that you can protect your family from the threat of a deadly fire.”
Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 7. Cole encourages everyone to use the extra hour next weekend to test their alarms to make sure they're in working order, practice family escape routes and to remind family, friends and neighbors to do the same things.
According to the National Fire Protection Association, 40 percent of U.S. residential fire deaths result from fires in homes without working smoke alarms. The National Safety Council reports that almost 700 people die each year as a result of unintentional poisoning by gases or vapors in non-fire situations. Carbon monoxide is involved in the majority of these deaths.
National statistics show:
§ On average, home fires kill 540 children ages 14 and under each year.
§ Eighty percent of the children who die in home fires are killed in homes without working smoke alarms.
§ From 11 p.m. – 7 a.m., when people tend to be asleep and the home is dark, are the peak hours for home fire deaths.
§ Only 23 percent of U.S. families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.
Cole recommends that Missourians regularly check smoke detectors by pushing the test button, plan two escape routes from their homes and practice those escape routes with the entire family.
  

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For more information, call 573-751-5432 or e-mail mike.o'connell@dps.mo.gov