(March 7, 2014) – As daylight savings time approaches, the Ocean City Fire Department would like to take this opportunity to remind residents and visitors to test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms and to change the batteries in each device. Working smoke alarms are vital in the notification of a fire, allowing individuals adequate time to escape.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the most common reason for smoke detector failure in the United States is missing or dead batteries. “It is estimated that approximately 900 lives could be saved annually if all homes had working smoke detectors,” said Ocean City Fire Marshal David Hartley. “It is important to install at least one smoke alarm on every floor of your home, including the basement, and outside each sleeping area. Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms should be tested at least monthly and should have the batteries replaced twice a year.”
The Ocean City Fire Department’s Office of the Fire Marshal recommends that a smoke alarm also be installed inside your bedroom, especially if you sleep with your doors closed. Alarms mounted on the wall should be positioned 4-12 inches from the ceiling, while ceiling-mounted alarms should be positioned four inches or more away from the nearest wall.
In addition to smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms are required in all residential dwellings that contain fuel-burning equipment or attached garages. Fuel burning equipment could be gas water heaters, furnaces, dryers, fireplaces, wood stoves, or engine exhaust. Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed on each level of the dwelling unit, and be audible in all bedrooms within the dwelling.
“A simple way to remember to change your smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries is to change the battery when you change your clocks,” Hartley continued. “This Sunday, March 9, when you change your clock, also change your smoke and carbon monoxide alarm batteries and advise your loved ones to do the same.”
For more information on how to keep you and your family safe, or to request a smoke alarm, carbon monoxide alarm, or 9-volt battery, please contact the Ocean City Fire Department, Office of the Fire Marshal at 410-289-8780 or visit www.nfpa.org.