Saturday, November 01, 2014 • 06:24
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This weekend, change your clocks and check your alarms


October 31, 2013
No one wants to believe a house fire could impact their family, but house fires occur more often than people think. According to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA), home fires kill an average of seven people every day and caused $11.6 billion in property damage during 2010.

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One of the most important tools in keeping your family safe is a working fire alarm.

Research shows that more than 50 percent of people reported removing the batteries from their home's smoke alarms. A working smoke alarm can make all the difference in whether a family has the critical time to escape a home fire.

On average, families have less than three minutes from the time the first smoke alarm sounds to escape a fire. That's why it's so important to keep a working smoke alarm on every level of your home and outside each sleeping area and to having an escape plan in place for your family.

Other essential home fire safety guidelines include:

• Test alarms once a month.

• Keep extra batteries on hand for fire alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.

• Install a fire extinguisher in or near your kitchen.

• Keep flashlights with fresh batteries at your bedside for help in finding the way out and signaling for help in the event of a fire.

• Develop and practice an emergency escape plan.

• This weekend when you change your clocks for daylight saving time, change the batteries in your home's smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.

• When you change your clocks for daylight-saving time, change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, and remind your friends, family and neighbors to do the same.

For more information about home and community fire safety, contact the Valley Center Fire Protection District at (760) 751-7600.

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Karen Bates