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Never Forget

Daylight Savings Fire Safety: Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery
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By First Assistant Fire Chief Andrew Klein
March 12, 2018

Firefighters know the importance of home fire safety. That's why the men and women of the Bedford Fire Department encourage participation in the semi-annual home fire safety program called:

Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery!

Sponsored by the International Association of Fire Chiefs and Energizer brand batteries, the program urges you to adopt a simple lifesaving habit: Change ALL of your Smoke Alarm batteries when you change your clocks.

Protecting your home is simple: Change, Check, Count, and Clean

*Change Your Smoke Alarm Batteries
Bedford Fire Department encourages you to change smoke alarm batteries at least once each year. An easy way to remember is to change these batteries when you change your clock. Replace old batteries with fresh, high-quality batteries to keep your smoke alarms ready to protect you all year long.

*Check Your Smoke Alarms
After inserting fresh batteries in your smoke alarm, make sure the alarm is working by activating the safety test button. Bedford Fire Department recommends that you test all of your smoke alarms at least once each month. If you have any doubt regarding the working condition of a smoke alarm, we recommend you replace it.

*Count Your Smoke Alarms
Bedford Fire Department highly recommends that you have a properly functioning Smoke Alarm in every sleeping room AND in the hallway directly adjacent to those rooms. If sleeping rooms are on an upper level, a smoke alarm should also be installed centrally in the ceiling directly above the interior stairway.

It's best to have at least one working smoke alarm on every level of your home, including the basement. To assure optimal protection and avoid false alarms, your smoke alarms must be mounted properly. You will find installation instructions included with every smoke alarm you purchase. Should questions remain, we encourage you to visit or contact us for help.

*Clean Your Smoke Alarms
Help your smoke alarm remain sensitive and ready to protect you by gently using a vacuum cleaner once a month to remove dust and cobwebs. If your smoke alarms have been accidentally painted or contaminated, replacement may be necessary.

To best protect your home and family, we also suggest:

*Retire Old Smoke Alarms!
Smoke alarms work every minute of every day. After millions of sensing cycles, they should be retired. Replace your smoke alarms with new devices every 10 years.

*Plan and Practice Your Escape!
Children are at increased risk of dying in a home fire because they often become scared and confused when a fire erupts. Make sure your children recognize the sound of your home's smoke alarm and teach them to respond instinctively to its signal.

Create at least two different escape routes from every room and practice them with the entire family. Be sure all family members know the lifesaving practice of crawling below the dangerously thick smoke and intense heat of a fire.

All capable members of the family must learn how to open windows and remove screens or security bars. Purchase, plan and practice using a collapsible emergency escape ladder that can be stored inside near upper floor windows. Realism is essential in your family's practice, as is your clear designation of a meeting place for everyone to gather outside the home in case of a fire or other emergency. Remember, this may be the only practice and discussion you will have before tragedy strikes!

When a fire occurs, don't delay! Get out quickly and stay out!! Escape first, closing doors behind you if possible. Gather at your meeting place and then notify the Fire Department by calling 9-1-1 from a safe location.

Your Firefighters are specially trained and equipped to rescue your family and pets, as well as to protect your possessions. Help your firefighters by remaining together OUTSIDE the home and directing them to endangered family or valuables.

*Install Fire Extinguishers
Install at least one fire extinguisher in or near your kitchen and know how to use it. We recommend multi- or all-purpose fire extinguishers that are listed by and carry the mark of an accredited testing agency such as Underwriters Laboratory. Read all instructions carefully and mount the fire extinguishers for easy access. Make sure adult members of your family know the proper use as well as the limitations of these important fire safety tools.

*Change Your Flashlight Batteries!
Make sure your emergency flashlights work when you need them by using fresh high-quality batteries. It is a good idea to keep a working flashlight and a whistle near your bed, in the kitchen, in the basement, and in the family room. You can use them to signal for help or direct rescuers.

We hope this simple list of tips from the Bedford Fire Department will help keep your family safe. Please remember that fire prevention is your best course of action.

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