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Oregon State Fire Marshal Urges Residents to Check Their Smoke Alarms
November 2, 2012

Rich Hoover
Office of State Fire Marshal
(503) 934-8217


The Office of State Fire Marshal is urging residents to test their smoke alarms before routinely changing the batteries. Sunday, November 4th marks the fall tradition of changing clocks an hour back and it serves as a good reminder for Oregonians to test their smoke alarms.
 
"Smoke alarm technology has advanced and many now come with features such as long-life batteries," said Chief Deputy State Fire Marshal Jim Walker. "So, I encourage residents to test their alarms before changing the battery."
 
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.
Other types of alarms are also being sold with either a long-life lithium battery or a standard-life battery.
 
"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 Walker.
 
To check your alarm properly we recommend that you do the following:
1) Push the test button to be sure the battery is working.
2) Vacuum the alarm to remove dust and cobwebs.
3) Inspect your alarm to determine if it is 10 years old or older. Replace any smoke alarm 10 years old or more, and any alarm that does not operate.
 
Working smoke alarms provide a critical early warning to a fire, allowing you vital minutes to escape, increasing your chances of survival. Additional safety tips:
* 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 and practice it with family members.
 
For more smoke alarm and fire safety information, contact your local fire department or visit http://www.oregon.gov/OSP/SFM/CommEd_SA_Program.shtml.