National and local firefighters have embraced the calendar’s two annual Daylight Saving Time changes as the time to check your smoke detector and change the batteries.
“Smoke detectors save lives,” said Capt. Jason Davis, of the Houston Fire Department. “I’ve been to fires that would have been a lot worse if it wasn’t for a smoke detector. I’ve also been to fires where a smoke detector could have saved the house.”
Davis urged homeowners to do a little simple math.
“If you’ve got a smoke detector it costs $2 at the most to replace the batteries,” said Davis. “If you don’t have a smoke detector it cost you about $10 bucks to go get one and put it up.
“Compare that to the cost of the house you live in and all your stuff that could get burned up,” said Davis. “And I’ll say it again. Smoke detectors save lives and you can’t put a price on that.”
And Davis urged families to make a game of checking the smoke detector.
“If you’ve got kids, make it a point to do it in front of them,” he explained. “Use that time to tell them what to do if they hear it go off. Where your family will gather outside the house if there is a fire. Show them how to call 911 and report a fire.
“These are basic fire safety questions that every mom and dad know,” said Davis. “You just need to say these things over and over to your kids.”
Davis said smoke detectors should also be checked once a month to make sure they are working properly.
“They encourage people to have one in every bedroom, hallways outside bedrooms and of course the kitchen,” said Davis. “We also urge people to put one in the utility room, near the door where their heater is and the attic.”
Davis said the Houston Fire Department does not offer smoke detectors but is glad to drop by and tell residents where they should be installed.
“If you are handicapped or elderly, please give us a call and let us help you get your smoke detector up,” said Davis. “We would rather come by in the big red truck and help you install a smoke detector than to come by and have to put out a fire.”