Check your smoke detectors

Published 7:36 pm Wednesday, November 6, 2019

Daylight saving time ended on Sunday, and with it many of us now find ourselves looking outside at increasingly early hours, wondering how it could already be dark out.

In this day of cellphones and wifi enabled watches (and refrigerators and coffee makers), there are fewer items that each of us now need to update with the season, but there is one thing that many people forget that is far more important than correcting the clock on your microwave — checking your smoke detector batteries.

The American Red Cross of Georgia encourages everyone to test their smoke alarms near the time change. As the weather cools, the number of home fires increases. 

According to the Red Cross, heating equipment is the second most common cause of fatalities from home fires, which take an average of seven lives every day in the U.S., according to the National Fire Protection Association. However, working smoke alarms can double a person’s odds of survival.

Your life is too important to risk just because of a pair of AA batteries reached the end of their life, and if you don’t have a smoke detector, here is your reminder to invest $5 in something that could save the lives of yourself or your loved ones. 

While your at it, now is also a great time to sit down with your household to talk about your fire escape plan. Do young children who stay at your home know what they should do if they hear a smoke alarm? Does your household have a set location to meet if there is a fire? If someone needs to call 911 but doesn’t have their cell phone for whatever reason, what is the plan? 

These are basic questions that can probably be decided in a matter of minutes, but they can save you and your loved ones from panic and heartbreak if you ever do have to face a fire.

We hope everyone will take a few minutes for these precautions and stay safe as the weather continues to cool.