PARKERSBURG - As daylight-saving time winds to a close, it is the perfect opportunity for local residents to change the batteries in their home safety equipment.
Daylight-saving time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday. Local residents are reminded not only to change their clocks back by one hour, but to change batteries in their homes as well.
Every year, more than 2,500 people die in house fires, with more than 12,000 people injured, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency website.
Parkersburg Fire Department Capt. Tim Flinn shows off a smoke alarm to remind residents to change their batteries with their clocks. (Photo by Gretchen Richards)
A fire can become life threatening in as little as two minutes. The presence of smoke alarms with fresh batteries in the residence can be the difference between life and death, the FEMA website said.
"We recommend that everyone change the batteries in their smoke detectors with every time change," Lt. Kevin Siers of the Parkersburg Fire Department said.
The batteries in life-saving devices in the home should be changed on a regular basis. Encouraging these battery changes to coincide with the time changes in the spring and fall ensures there will be fresh batteries in home smoke alarms, said Siers.
This includes the batteries in carbon monoxide detectors and in smoke alarms.
Because winter is approaching, it is important to change the batteries in other emergency devices.
"We recommend that everyone change the batteries in all emergency devices in their homes, including carbon monoxide detectors, flashlights and all sources of emergency lighting in commercial businesses," said Capt. Tim Flinn of the Parkersburg Fire Department.
"We recommend that each level of the house and each sleeping area have its own smoke detector," Flinn said. "We also recommend that, if possible, all such devices should be electrically powered with battery backups," he said.
Assistance is available for residents in Parkersburg who cannot afford smoke detectors.
Residents can contact the Parkersburg Fire Department to see if they qualify to have smoke detectors installed in their homes free of charge. Those who do qualify need to provide the following information to the fire department:
* Number of stories in the home.
* Number of bedrooms in the home.
* Number of residents living in the home.
This information helps the fire department determine how many smoke detectors should be installed if the family qualifies for the low-income smoke alarm assistance, according to Flinn.
Parkersburg residents who are unable to change their smoke alarm batteries can call the Parkersburg Fire Department at 304-424-8470 for assistance.