TAVARES — The Lake County Public Safety Department is reminding residents to change the batteries in their smoke alarms and NOAA weather radios for the end of daylight saving time, which occurs at 2 a.m. on Sunday, Nov. 3.
Fire Rescue and Emergency Management officials across the nation encourage homeowners to replace batteries in their smoke alarms and NOAA weather radios when they change their clocks because it provides a convenient reminder.
National statistics report that more than 95 percent of U.S. households have at least one smoke alarm installed, however, an estimated 25 percent of those households have smoke alarms that do not work because of dead or missing batteries. Two-thirds of all home fire deaths occur in homes with non-working or missing smoke alarms. Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, on every floor of a home and in hallways leading to bedrooms.
While it is recommended that batteries be replaced in smoke alarms and weather radios semi-annually, the devices should also be tested at least once a month. With a home fire occurring every 85 seconds in the United States, the proper maintenance of smoke alarms increases the chances of surviving a fire by 50 percent. Coupled with a family fire-escape plan, operational smoke alarms can save lives. Smoke alarm units should be replaced every 8-10 years with newer units.
The Lake County Public Safety Department offers a program that provides income-eligible residents residing in unincorporated Lake County with free smoke alarms. Qualified individuals include income-eligible residents who are 65 years or older, have households with children under 12 years of age or have households with disabled individuals that may impede escape action.
The Lake County Fire Rescue Division handles smoke-alarm installations on a first-come, first-serve basis while supplies last. For more information about the smoke-detector program, call the Lake County Department of Public Safety at 352-343-9458.
For further information and facts on smoke alarms, residents are encouraged to visit the United States Fire Administration website at www.usfa.fema.gov/campaigns/smokealarms/.