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Change Your Clocks, Check Your Alarms This Weekend
11:46AM / Friday, March 10, 2017
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BOSTON — State fire officials are reminding people that as they change their clocks this weekend to check their smoke detectors as well.

"Prevent that annoying chirp of a dying smoke alarm battery by replacing the alkaline batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms now, unless you have newer alarms with 10-year sealed batteries,"  State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey said. "Check the age of your alarms. Smoke alarms need to be replaced after 10 years usually, and carbon monoxide alarms after five to seven years."
 
Ostroskey said time is the enemy during a fire, and alarms offer precious seconds to evacuate before poisonous gases and heat make escape impossible.

In the average house fire, there are only 1-3 minutes to escape AFTER the smoke alarm sounds, he said.

"Take a few minutes to protect those you love by changing the batteries in your smoke alarms this weekend," he said. "Then take a step stool and some 9-volts to your parents or older neighbor's and ask if you can refresh their smoke alarms."

Chief Richard DeLorie, president of the Fire Chiefs Association of Massachusetts, said the state fire code recently changed to require replacement battery-operated smoke alarms to have 10-year, sealed, non-replaceable, non-rechargeable batteries in older one- and two-family homes.

"Fire officials hope that if we make smoke alarms easier for people to maintain, they will take care of them. We see too many disabled smoke alarms in fires when people really needed them to work," he said.

In addition, 220 fire departments across the state have grant-funded Senior SAFE Programs. Seniors who need help testing, maintaining or replacing smoke alarms should contact their local fire department or senior center for assistance.

"A third of the people who have died in fires this year were over 65. We want our seniors to be safe from fire in their own homes," Ostroskey said.

 

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