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Change your clocks, change your smoke alarm batteries

State Fire Marshal Larry L. Flowers is reminding Ohioans to make a potentially lifesaving change when they move their clocks back one hour on Sunday, Nov. 1. Change the batteries in your smoke alarms!

In conjunction with Ohio’s fire departments and the Safe and Sound campaign, the Division of State Fire Marshal encourages Ohioans to make a habit of changing the batteries in their smoke detectors at least twice a year – at the beginning and end of daylight savings time.

The Safe and Sound campaign aims to reduce fire deaths in Ohio by targeting those caused by heat sources in the winter. Working smoke alarms play a role in this initiative as well.

“Many times, fatal fires could have been prevented with the help of the early warning a smoke alarm provides. It gives people time to escape,” Marshal Flowers said. “Testing these alarms is the first step in preparing for a fire.”

For the greatest protection, install a smoke detector on every level of your home and inside and outside of each sleeping area. Also, develop an escape plan with two ways out and make sure every family member knows what to do and where to meet outside if the fire alarm sounds. Take time to practice both a primary and secondary escape plan, so that if a real emergency occurred, you and your family know what to do.

Marshal Flowers offers these additional tips:

-Test smoke alarms at least once each month to ensure that they are working properly.

-Vacuum the dust from inside the detector at least once every year.

-Never “borrow” a smoke detector’s battery for another use.

-Change batteries twice a year or if a detector “chirps” to signal low battery power.

If you have a smoke alarm that was installed before November 1, 2005, replace the entire unit this weekend.

For more information about smoke alarms and fire safety, visit www.com.ohio.gov/fire.

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