According to the National Fire Protection Association more than half (54%) of the reported fires in which the smoke alarms did not operate, batteries were missing or disconnected. Communities nationwide witness tragic home fire deaths each year but, everyone can work together to help reduce the number of home fire fatalities. Approximately every three hours a home fire death occurs somewhere in the nation and 66 % of those occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Additionally, 80% of child fire fatalities also occur in homes without working smoke alarms. “It’s a tragic statistic that could be reduced by adopting the simple habit of Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery” says Fire Chief J.R. Wheeler.
The Altus Fire Department has developed a program sponsored by Altus Firefighters Local 2749 providing and installing smoke detectors and batteries to homeowners that can’t afford them, at no charge. Changing smoke alarm batteries with the time change, testing those alarms and reminding others to do the same are some of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries.
Wheeler says, “In addition to saving daylight, let’s save lives”. If you would like more information on the Smoke Detector Program contact Altus Fire/Rescue Department at 481-3517. (See related story on page 3 of today’s edition.)