For Immediate Release - March 08, 2017

Fire Officials Ask People to Change Your Clock, Check Your Alarms This Weekend

“This weekend as you change your clocks, check your alarms,” said State Fire Marshal Peter Ostroskey. “Prevent that annoying chirp of a dying smoke alarm battery by replacing the alkaline batteries in your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms now, unless you have newer alarms with 10-year sealed batteries,” said State Fire Marshal Ostroskey. He added, “Check the age of your alarms. Smoke alarms need to be replaced after ten years usually, and carbon monoxide alarms after 5-7.”

smoke alarms

Time Is Your Enemy in a Fire
“Time is your enemy in a fire and working smoke alarms give you precious time to use your home escape plan before poisonous gases and heat make escape impossible.” said Ostroskey, “Remember: smoke alarms are a sound you can live with.”

Replace Aging Smoke Alarms
“Smoke alarms, like other household appliances, don’t last forever,” said Chief Richard DeLorie, president of the Fire Chiefs’ Association of Massachusetts, “Every ten years the entire alarm needs to be replaced, not just the batteries,” he added. The state fire code recently changed to require replacement battery-operated smoke alarms to have 10-year, sealed, non-replaceable, non-rechargeable batteries in older one- and two-family homes. DeLorie said, “Fire officials hope that if we make smoke alarms easier for people to maintain, they will take care of them. We see too many disabled smoke alarms in fires when people really needed them to work.”

Senior SAFE
Two hundred twenty (220) fire departments across the state have grant-funded Senior SAFE Programs. Seniors who need help testing, maintaining or replacing smoke alarms should contact their local fire department or senior center for assistance. Ostroskey said, “A third of the people who have died in fires this year were over 65. We want our seniors to be safe from fire in their own homes.”

Working Smoke Alarms Are a Sound You Can Live With
DeLorie said “No one expects to be a victim of a fire, but the best way to survive one that does occur is to have working smoke alarms.” In the average house fire, there are only 1-3 minutes to escape AFTER the smoke alarm sounds. He added, “Take a few minutes to protect those you love by changing the batteries in your smoke alarms this weekend. Then take a step stool and some 9-volts to your parents or older neighbor’s and ask if you can refresh their smoke alarms.”