Fire Department urges residents to ‘change your clocks, change your batteries’


GREENVILLE – With daylight savings time approaching, the Greenville Fire Department urges you to install a new battery in each smoke detector of your home when you “spring ahead” the time on your clocks. It has been proven that a working smoke detector is the single most effective tool in surviving a house fire.

In a telephone survey conducted in the US 96 -97 percent of household have at least one smoke alarm, about 53 percent of all reported house fires did the smoke alarm operate properly.

“This [negligence] is to blame for the majority of fire-related deaths and injuries in the U.S.,” said a fire official.

Research provided by the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), and supported by the statistics from local fire departments nationwide, shows a direct correlation between survival in a fire and the presence of working smoke detectors. According to the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) “detectors equipped with batteries checked regularly and changed every year double the odds for survival.”

The widespread acceptance and availability of smoke detectors in the early 1980s greatly increased the nation’s progress in decreasing fire-related deaths and injuries. However, in the 1990s that progress slowed dramatically; and battery neglect is believed to have played a leading role in this disturbing trend.

To aid our local community in avoiding unnecessary fire-related tragedies, the Greenville Fire Department offers the following suggestions:

  • Install at least one working smoke detector (with a fresh battery) on each level of your home.
  • Because smoke rises, smoke detectors should be placed on the ceiling or at the highest point on the wall.
  • Ensure each detector in your home is operating properly by pressing the “test” button at least once a month.
  • Never remove the battery from your smoke detector except to install a new one.

In 37 perent of fire related deaths there was no smoke detector present in the home. The risk of a death happening in a fire is cut in half when there is a working smoke alarm present. The City of Greenville Fire Department will provide and install a free smoke detector and CO detector to those in need.

Stop at the Fire Department office Monday-Thursday 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m. Friday 8 a.m.-1 p.m. to fill a request form.

Staff report

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