BEND, Ore. - The Bend Fire Department is urging residents to test their smoke alarms before routinely changing the batteries. Sunday, November 3rd marks the fall tradition of changing clocks an hour back and it serves as a good reminder for Central Oregonians to test their smoke alarms.
"Smoke alarm technology has advanced and many now come with features such as long-life batteries," said Deputy Fire Marshal Susie Maniscalco. "We encourage residents to test their alarms before changing the battery." Smoke alarms provide a critical early warning to a fire, allowing you precious minutes to escape."
Ionization-only smoke alarms that are solely battery powered come equipped with a hush feature and a 10-year battery. Because of this technology, the national slogan "Change your clock, Change your battery" may not apply to Oregon residents who have these ionization smoke alarms.
"Ensuring you have working smoke alarms in your home is the single most important step you can take to increase your family's safety from a home fire," adds Maniscalco.
- Push the test button to be sure the battery is working.
- Vacuum the alarm to remove dust and cobwebs.
- Inspect your alarm to determine if it is 10 years old or older. Replace any smoke alarms 10 years old or more, and any alarm that does not operate.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, in each bedroom, and outside each sleeping area.
- Hard-wired alarms (those wired directly into home electrical systems) should have battery back-ups.
- Never disconnect or remove batteries from smoke alarms for other uses.
- Use the smoke alarms hush feature to silence nuisance alarms.
- Make a home escape plan, designate a family meeting place outside and practice it with the entire family.
The Bend Fire Department offers FREE home safety visits, smoke alarms and batteries at no cost. Contact 541 322-6309 or visit our website at www.bendoregon.gov/fire for more information and other free services.