As part of a project to raise awareness of the need to regularly test and change batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire Department members visited 40 homes in River Ridge last weekend to do just that.
"Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire Department reminds residents that one easy step can help save their lives and the lives of those around them," OWL VFD Public Relations Specialist Rebecca Barnes said. "Twice a year change the batteries in their own smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, test the alarms and remind friends, family, neighbors and fellow community members to do the same."
Barnes said that the most common cause of malfunctioning smoke alarms is batteries that are dead or missing.
“Eighty percent of child fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms. It’s a tragic statistic that could be reduced by adopting the simple habit of the changing your battery when you change your clocks,” says Jim McAllister, Chief OWL VFD.
OWL VFD recommends testing alarms and changing smoke alarm batteries twice a year.
“The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most families are sleeping,” says McAllister. “Smoke alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths. Children and senior citizens are most at risk, and a working smoke alarm can give them the extra seconds they need to get out safely.”