FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 09, 2010


Missouri fire marshal advises changing smoke detector batteries along with clocks this weekend

More than 70 percent of fire related deaths in the U.S. occur in homes without a working smoke alarm

As Missourians set their clocks ahead one hour this Sunday, State Fire Marshal Randy Cole is reminding everyone to also change the batteries in their smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.
"The semi-annual time changes are great reminders to change the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors," said State Fire Marshal Randy Cole.  "Across the country, 80 percent of the children who die in home fires are killed in residences without a working smoke alarm.   If people take the words 'change your clocks, change your batteries' to heart, we would reduce the number of home fire deaths in the United States.”
At 2 a.m. Sunday, March 14, daylight saving time goes into effect, and most of the U.S. "springs ahead" one hour.  Each year, more than 2,500 Americans die in residential fires and about 15,000 are injured.  The peak hours for home fire deaths are from 11 p.m.to 7 a.m., when people tend to be asleep and the home is dark.  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.
"The chance of surviving a fire increases 50 percent with a working smoke alarm," Fire Marshal Cole said.  "Having smoke detectors and CO detectors with fresh batteries are the best ways to protect your family in the event of a fire.”
Cole recommends that Missourians regularly check smoke and CO detectors by pushing the test button, plan two escape routes from their homes and practice those escape routes with the entire family.  Only 23 percent of U.S. families have developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.

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