LOUISIANA (KLFY) – As Daylight Saving Time quickly approaches, the Louisiana State Fire Marshal’s Office is advising people to change more than their clocks. With only one day until the time changes, officials say you should also be checking your smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
“You’re taking the time to go and change those clocks. While you’re at it, change those batteries,” Ashely Rodrigue with the State Fire Marshal’s Office said.
She said that it’s a small task that could save you and your family’s lives.
“I know that’s something that’s so annoying to people sometimes, but the truth of the matter is I bet if a lot of people turned around and looked in their homes right now, there’s a smoke alarm there. There’s a battery that’s sitting somewhere near it, and they’re not together because there was a moment where there was that annoying beep,” Rodrigue added.
Nearly 80 people died in home fires in Louisiana in 2022. According to the State Fire Marshal’s Office, only two of those homes had working smoke alarms. So far in 2023, 18 people have lost their lives in home fires, most in homes without working alarms. Rodrigue told News 10 that many of these fatalities were preventable.
“We know that smoke alarms save lives. It gives you critical seconds to get away from honestly something that people don’t realize. The smoke is what gets people, not necessarily the flames,” she told News 10.
Rodrigue also said that smoke alarms can detect smoke faster than any person can smell or see. She added that because of how open homes are built today and the materials used in many household items and furniture, fire these days move and grow more quickly, and that means you lose more time trying to escape. That’s why smoke alarms are so important.
“It allows for people to react with a clear mind as opposed to in panic because it will let you know. Instead of you turn around, see flames, and you’re immediately panicking and you might not be thinking as clearly, that smoke alarm gives you that alert. It gives you time to find people who need to get out and get everyone out to find a meeting place to call 911 outside,” she added.
She said one life lost to a home fire is too many, and the best way to prevent more deaths is to make sure your smoke alarms are working.
“I promise you. Smoke alarms save lives. You think that this won’t happen to you. But it can, and it will. Make sure that smoke alarm is protecting your family when you go to bed tonight.”
Rodrigue said that while you’re checking your smoke alarms, make sure you’re checking the batteries on your carbon monoxide alarms as well.