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Change smoke detector batteries when changing clocks to Daylight Savings Time

Director of Commerce Doug White and State Fire Marshal Stephen Woltz are reminding Ohioans  to make a potentially lifesaving change when they move their clocks ahead for Daylight Savings Time: CHANGE THE BATTERIES IN YOUR SMOKE DETECTORS!

In conjunction with the annual public education program "Change your Clocks, Change your Batteries," the Ohio Department of Commerce's Division of State Fire Marshal and local fire departments across the state encourage Ohioans to make it a habit to change the batteries in their smoke detector at least twice a year - at the beginning and end of daylight savings time each year.

"The facts speak clearly - only a working smoke detector can save your life," said Marshal Woltz.  "I encourage all Ohioans to ensure that their smoke detectors are properly placed and regularly tested and maintained.  By taking the time to change the batteries and by testing them monthly, you may save your life, the lives of your family members and your property if fire ever breaks out in your home."

Woltz said firefighters still find that smoke detectors, which typically retail for less than $10, are often not present in homes or are not functional.  Last year, 89% of the victims who died in Ohio fires lived in residences where there was either no smoke detector or a non-functioning smoke detector.  One smoke detector in a home doubles a person's chance of escape in the event of a fire.

Smoke detectors, when properly installed and maintained, provide early warning when fire occurs.  For the greatest protection, install a smoke detector on every level of your home and inside each sleeping area.  Also, develop an escape plan that every member of the family is familiar with if the fire alarm does sound.

Test smoke detectors at least once each month to ensure that they are working properly.  Vacuum the dust from inside the detector at least once every year.  Batteries in battery-operated detectors should be changed twice a year or whenever a detector "chirps" to signal low battery power.  Never "borrow" a smoke detector's battery for another use.  A disabled detector cannot save your life.  In addition, smoke detectors should be replaced every 10 years or according to the manufacturer's specifications.

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