JOPLIN, Mo. — The Joplin Fire Department emphasizes home safety as the midwest adjusts to the “fall back” of Daylight Savings Time.

JFD urges citizens to take proactive measures to safeguard their homes by changing the batteries in their smoke alarms.

According to a 2019 report by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), properly installed and well-maintained smoke alarms play a crucial role in reducing fire-related fatalities and injuries. The NFPA’s report highlights that having a functioning smoke alarm can significantly reduce the likelihood of perishing in a reported fire, cutting those odds in half.

Additionally, the report provides the following key statistics:

– Smoke alarms were present in 74 percent of reported home fires between 2014 and 2018.

– Almost three out of five home fire deaths were attributed to fires in properties lacking smoke alarms (41%) or having non-operational smoke alarms (16%).

– The risk of dying in reported home structure fires is 55% lower in homes equipped with operational smoke alarms compared to homes without alarms or those with non-functioning alarms.

– In fires that were significant enough to trigger a smoke alarm, hardwired smoke alarms activated in 94% of cases, while battery-powered alarms operated 82% of the time. Power source issues were the most common factors when smoke alarms failed to operate.

One of the primary reasons for smoke alarm failures is missing or dead batteries. In essence, functioning smoke alarms offer early warnings, effectively saving lives, preventing injuries, and minimizing property damage. It is recommended that smoke alarm batteries be replaced bi-annually, and the detectors themselves should be replaced every 10 years. While some smoke alarms come with non-replaceable batteries and a designed 10-year lifespan, it is crucial to check them monthly for proper functioning.

For further information on fire protection and safety, visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website.

In addition to ensuring your smoke alarms are in working order, here are some other safety precautions that homeowners can take as the cooler weather approaches:

– Have your furnace inspected.

– Get your chimneys and vents checked.

– Regularly test your smoke alarms.

– Use a screen to cover your fireplace.

– Exercise caution with lit candles.

– Be mindful of space heaters.

– Learn how to extinguish kitchen fires swiftly.

– Practice an escape route in case of fire.

– Keep fire extinguishers on hand as potential life-savers.

– Ensure that all household members are familiar with how to dial 911 in case of emergencies.

You can visit the National Fire Protection Association’s website here for more information on fire safety and protection.