March 9, 2012 -- It's time to move your clocks an hour forward at 2:00 am on Sunday, March 11th! Portland Fire & Rescue is also encouraging citizens to use the opportunity to test the smoke alarms in your home. However, many citizens have smoke alarms with 10-year batteries so the old slogan, ‘Change your clock, Change your battery' may not be correct for all households.
According to the Oregon State Fire Marshal’s Office, from 2005 through 2009 there was not a smoke alarm present or working in 39% of the residential fires here in Oregon. That resulted in $105 million in property loss, 283 injuries, and 46 fatalities.
Portland Fire & Rescue reminds you that working smoke alarms provide an early warning to a fire, in turn allowing you vital minutes to escape.
and your family’s chances
of surviving a fire.
To maintain smoke alarms in your home, simply test each alarm it to be sure the battery is working, vacuuming the alarm to get rid of dust and cobwebs, and inspecting the alarm to determine if it is 10 years old or older. If so, PF&R recommends that you replace the entire alarm. If you do need to replace your battery, follow the manufacturer’s instructions to be sure you replace it with the correct type.
Smoke alarm laws in Oregon are different from most other states. Since 1999, law requires ionization-only smoke alarms sold in the state to have a hush feature; and if an ionization-only smoke alarm is also solely battery-operated, it must also come with a 10-year battery.
Remembers and practice these safety tips:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home and inside each sleeping area
- Replace smoke alarms 10 years old or older
- Hard-wired alarms (those connected directly to home electrical systems) should have battery back-ups
- Never disconnect or remove batteries from smoke alarms for other uses
- Make a home escape plan and practice it
For more smoke alarm and fire safety information, contact Lieutenant Michael Silva with Portland Fire & Rescue's Communications Team at (503) 823-3550.