WESTPORT, CONN. – Now that fall is here and the leaves are changing color, Westport fire officials are reminding residents that making another change -- replacing the batteries in their smoke alarms -- could help save their lives.
Fire officials typically use the end of Daylight Saving Time to issue their annual warnings about the necessity for working smoke alarms. Folks should have turned back their clocks by one hour Sunday morning.
Westport, quoting statistics from the National Fire Protection Association, said that three of every five home fire deaths occurred in homes with either no alarms or no working alarms.
No smoke alarms were present in 37 percent of home fire deaths, they said, and in 23 percent, smoke alarms were present but weren’t working.
Missing or disconnected batteries were to blame in 47 percent of cases where alarms failed to work, they said. Dead or discharged batteries were cited in 24 percent of cases.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries should be replaced every other year and detectors replaced every 10 years.
Smoke alarms are now available with non-replaceable batteries and are designed with a 10-year life span, they said.
However, fire officials said, detectors should still be checked monthly.
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