Albuquerque Fire Chief James Breen is reminding everyone in the city to change the batteries in their smoke alarms this weekend.
Fire officials recommend that the batteries in smoke alarms be changed twice a year when clocks are adjusted for daylight savings time. On Saturday clocks will turn back one hour and Chief Breen suggests all residents change the batteries in their smoke alarms after they adjust their clocks.
“Daylight savings time serves as a good reminder for everyone to check the batteries in their smoke alarms,” Chief Breen said. “A properly installed and operational smoke detector reduces your chance of dying in a fire by nearly half and could very well save your family's life.”
Breen also reminds everyone to:
• Make sure they have smoke alarms in every home, on every level, outside each sleeping area and in each bedroom.
• Test your smoke alarms each month to make sure they are working.
• Replace smoke alarms every ten years or sooner if broken.
• When the smoke alarm sounds, get out fast and stay out!
Smoke alarms can be purchased at any department store for as little as $10. The Albuquerque Fire Marshal’s Office does provide smoke alarms to low-income families on a limited basis.
Since 2005, there have been 26 fire deaths in the city of Albuquerque. In more than half of those deaths (14), the homes didn’t have smoke alarms. Nationally about two-thirds of all home fire deaths occurred in homes that didn’t have working fire extinguishers.
Last month, a one year-old baby was killed in an apartment fire in the Northeast Heights. It is unknown if the smoke alarm in the apartment was working. However, a recent inspection by the Safe City Strike Force found about 30 non-working smoke alarms in the apartment complex.