by Melody Pettit
Branson Firefighters would like to remind residents to not only change the clocks this weekend as daylight saving time comes to an end but to also change the batteries in all smoke alarms. The official time change occurs at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday, November 3, 2019, and is a great bi-annual reminder to change batteries in smoke alarms.
According to the International Association of Fire Chiefs, 29% of fatal fires have inoperable smoke alarms or none present at all. Smoke alarms should be placed in each sleeping room, on each level of the home and in common areas such as hallways and stairwells.
“Smoke alarms are inexpensive. For very little money, you provide an excellent tool to warn you of smoke or a fire in the home and give occupants those critical extra seconds to escape,” said Branson Fire Chief Ted Martin. “It’s typically not the fire that kills, but the toxic smoke, especially when folks are sleeping,” added Chief Martin.
When you are changing the batteries, it is also a good idea to dust or vacuum the alarms. You should also replace any that are more than 10-years old, push the test button to make sure the alarm functions and take the time to develop a home fire escape plan.
Smoke alarms may be installed free for Branson residents if they can’t afford one. Senior citizens in Taney County may have smoke alarms installed at no cost as well. If you call the Senior Centers in Branson or Forsyth or any fire department in the county, senior residents can have a firefighter help install the smoke alarms. For more information about this program or other fire prevention topics, contact the City of Branson Fire Department’s Technical Services Division at 417-243-2780.