Sunday’s time change is the best time to change the batteries on your smoke alarm and Carbon monoxide detector. Mike Griffitts, Prevention Officer of the Jacksonville Fire Department, says that the department has a number of local programs available for residents when it comes to the maintenance on their fire & CO alarms. “In the city limits of Jacksonville, we offer services where if in need of answers to questions about where to place a smoke detector or fire alarm and assistance putting them up, we will come to your house and help you get that done. We also have a program where if you are financially unable to afford a smoke detector or carbon monoxide alarm, we would provide that for you. We do have a limited amount of smoke detectors and an even fewer amount of carbon monoxide alarms; but we do have some in stock to provide that service.”
Griffitts says with the time change coming up on Sunday, it’s the recommended time to change your smoke detector to the newly required 10 year lifespan detectors if you can or to simply change the batteries. “We recommend when you go to change your clocks on Sunday that you also change your batteries in your smoke detectors. Most fires occur at night, and without a working smoke detector, you have a drop of 50% in survival rate. The new law that came out last year says that any new residential homes requires the home to have fire detectors to be wired up in series with a back up battery that lasts 10 years. Not everyone can afford to do that, so we want to make sure everybody changes their batteries twice a year during those time changes. The CO detectors are very important as well. Carbon monoxide is an odorless, tasteless gas. It’s known as the ‘silent killer’. The fact that your without one and your home fills up with the gas without you knowing , you and your household could get extremely sick or possibly result in a death. It’s very important that you keep up on the CO detector maintenance, as well.”
Griffitts says that smoke detectors should be in bedrooms and not just in common hallways and living areas. He says the department has really been advocating for families to sleep with bedroom doors closed at night. “Sleeping with your door closed even with yourself and your kids, also increases your survival rate. Having a working smoke detector in your bedroom is important because of that fact. With both your door being closed and the smoke detector in your room increases your survival rate even more in the event of a fire. What that door does is provides a barrier for smoke, heat, and fire. It also gives you more time to get out.”
For more information or to get help with changing your smoke detector and CO alarm call the fire department at 479-4656 for more information.