Semi-annual clock change offers fire safety opportunity
Twice each year, Rochester-area residents adjust their clocks to Daylight Saving Time (spring) and Eastern Standard Time (fall).
This semi-annual event offers and excellent opportunity to ensure fire safety in the home by changing smoke-detector batteries and practicing Exit Drills in the Home (EDITH).
Additional information, including brochures and pamphlets, may be requested from the Rochester Fire Department’s Community Outreach Unit.
Check Smoke Detector Battery
Checking smoke alarm batteries at least once per month is one of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce tragic deaths and injuries. Non-working smoke alarms rob residents of the protective benefits home fire safety devices were designed to provide.
The most commonly cited cause of non-working smoke alarms is worn or missing batteries. In fact, working smoke alarms cut in half the risk of dying in a home fire. In addition, experts recommend replacing your smoke alarms every ten years and testing smoke alarms regularly by pushing the test button.
Don’t wait, check the date
If you have a smoke alarm that is over 10 years old, it needs to be replaced. Remember, even if you have a new sm oke alarm with a 10-year battery, you should test your smoke alarm at least once per month. If you notice an intermittent CHIRPING sound, this means the battery is low and must be replaced.
Observe proper Installation practices
Smoke detectors should be installed on every level of the home, outside sleeping areas and inside bedrooms
- A smoke alarm should be installed and maintained according to the manufacturer's instructions.
- Consider placing alarms along your escape path to assist in egress in limited visibility conditions.
- In general you should place alarms in the center of a ceiling or, if you place them on a wall, they should be 6 to 12 inches below the ceiling.
Exit Drills In The Home (EDITH)
To escape a house on fire; first maintain working smoke detectors in your home, and second; have a plan in which to escape your home in case of fire. EDITH is very important along with having working smoke detectors. Once a smoke detector goes off in your home, members of your household along with yourself should react, by using your pre-planned escape route to exit safely from a fire. Know your escape plan before a fire happens. Use the following steps to develop your escape plan.
- Draw a simple floor plan of your home, showing two ways out of each room.
- Ensure all household members understand the escape routes from the plan.
- Make sure routes are clear, and that the doors and windows on the route can be opened properly.
- Crawl while using your escape route, it is safer because heat and smoke rise in a fire
- Practice your escape plan at least twice a year with your household members and test your smoke detectors monthly while checking the batteries twice a year. Change your clock, change your batteries.
- Agree on a meeting place outside where everyone can meet after exiting the home. (This will allow for a head count and allow the arriving fire fighters to gain information about possible missing members, and the fire inside.)
- Remember; People who live in an apartment building should use the stairways and NOT the elevator to escape to the outside. Some high-rise buildings may use a "defend in place" plan dependent on the fire location.