AURORA, Ill., Feb. 25, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- The switch to Daylight Saving Time is more than just a reminder to change one's clocks – it also has become synonymous with testing and changing the batteries in smoke and carbon monoxide (CO) alarms. However, given the prevalence of 10-year sealed battery alarms, which provide added convenience and protection for 10 years, First Alert is partnering with the National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) to remind the public that it is still important to test and check the alarms themselves, regardless of the type of alarm. In an effort to educate families to "change your clocks, check your alarms," First Alert will be joining the NVFC for a Facebook Live Chat, slated for Thursday, February 25 from 1-2 p.m. CT.
"Thanks to years of educational outreach on part of the entire fire safety industry, it has become tradition to test and change the batteries in your smoke and CO alarms at the start and end of Daylight Saving Time," said Tarsila Wey, director of marketing for First Alert, the most trusted and reliable brand in fire safety*. "However, we are encouraging families to also regularly check and maintain alarms – a key step in home safety. With the added benefit of having 10-year alarms, you won't need to worry about replacing the batteries, but it's still important to test alarms regularly and replace them every 10 years, as alarms don't last forever."
Across the country, many states and major cities have enacted legislation for certain types of housing requiring 10-year sealed battery alarms, and many more are following suit with similar legislation and code adoption. Alarms with a 10-year sealed battery, like the First Alert Combination Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Alarm with 10-Year Battery, provide added safety and convenience, as the battery lasts the life of the alarm and cannot be removed from the unit.
The Facebook Live Chat will leverage the start of Daylight Saving Time on March 14 to communicate the importance of checking smoke and CO alarm batteries and the alarms themselves, stressing both a battery replacement and alarm maintenance message and reminding consumers of alarm replacement once the devices reach the end of their useful life. Joining the chat will be:
- Ashley Gocken, brand and PR manager for First Alert
- Michael McLeieer, president of E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc., which operates Michigan's "Smoke Alarms for Everyone" program
- Monica Colby, fire and life safety educator (Rapid City, S.D. Fire Department) and NVFC Fire Corps representative
Research shows a significant need to remind the public to check the smoke and CO alarms in their homes. According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), the vast majority of fire deaths – three in five – occur in homes without properly working smoke alarms, or no alarms at all. In fires where smoke alarms were present but did not operate, almost half of the smoke alarms have missing or disconnected batteries. Additionally, CO poisoning is the number one cause of accidental poisoning deaths in the U.S. – responsible for approximately 50,000 emergency room visits and more than 400 deaths each year – according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
"Families today have a lot on their minds and too often take for granted life-saving measures like maintaining both smoke and CO alarms," said NVFC chair Steve Hirsch. "We're excited to have First Alert, E.S.C.A.P.E. Inc. and the Rapid City Fire Department join us for an informative discussion about the importance of checking alarms throughout the home, as the proper maintenance of alarms can help reduce the risk of severe fire and CO incidents."
During the Facebook Live discussion, attendees can learn more about important home safety steps to add to their spring forward to-do list, including:
- Replace batteries or expired alarms – Unless you have a 10-year sealed alarm, batteries should be replaced every six months. In addition, smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years, and CO alarms should be replaced every five to 10 years. If you don't know how old an alarm is, the safest bet is to replace it immediately or check the date printed on the back of the alarm. As an extra safety measure, most First Alert alarms feature end-of-life warning to alert residents to the need for replacement.
- Test alarms – All smoke and CO alarms should be tested regularly to ensure they are in proper working condition. Maintaining working alarms is crucial for protecting your home and family. All First Alert alarms are equipped with a test/silence button for easy testing.
- Alarm placement is key – Even if you have smoke and CO alarms in your home, you may not have enough to be fully protected. The NFPA recommends installing smoke alarms on every level of the home, including the basement, and inside each bedroom. CO alarms should also be on every level and near each sleeping area. Also, with more people cooking at home these days, it's even more important to include fire extinguishers as part of a home safety plan.
- Practice an escape plan – It's important that the whole family knows what to do in the event of a home emergency. According to a study conducted by First Alert, only 43% of Americans report having an escape plan in place, and only a quarter (26%) reported having ever practiced it. Once you have an escape plan in place, practice it at least twice per year with every member of the household.
For more information about the Facebook Live Chat, please visit https://fb.me/e/1992xhchR.
For more information about fire and CO safety, please visit https://www.firstalert.com/.
*First Alert Brand Trust Survey, January 2021 – Results are based on the responses of 1,004 adults, ages 25 and older, living in the United States who completed an online survey. Results are statistically significant at a 95 percent confidence level and can be generalized to the entire adult population in the United States within those statistical parameters. For more information or a copy of the complete survey results, contact Tim Young at LCWA: 312/565-4628 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About BRK Brands, Inc.
BRK Brands, Inc. (Aurora, IL), is a fully owned subsidiary of Newell Brands. For more than 60 years, BRK Brands, Inc. has been the manufacturer of First Alert®-branded home-safety products, the most trusted and recognized safety brand in America. BRK® Brands designs and develops innovative safety solutions including a comprehensive line of smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms, fire extinguishers and escape ladders to protect what matters most. Such products are also marketed under the BRK Electronics® brand, The Professional Standard for the builder and contractor audiences. BRK Brands, Inc. products are found in more than 30 countries worldwide. For more information, visit http://www.firstalert.com, http://www.brkelectronics.com or http://www.newellbrands.com.
About Newell Brands
Newell Brands (NASDAQ: NWL) is a leading global consumer goods company with a strong portfolio of well-known brands, including Rubbermaid®, Paper Mate®, Sharpie®, Dymo®, EXPO®, Parker®, Elmer's®, Coleman®, Marmot®, Oster®, Sunbeam®, FoodSaver®, Mr. Coffee®, Rubbermaid Commercial Products®, Graco®, Baby Jogger®, NUK®, Calphalon®, Contigo®, First Alert®, Mapa®, Spontex® and Yankee Candle®. Newell Brands is committed to enhancing the lives of consumers around the world with planet friendly, innovative and attractive products that create moments of joy and provide peace of mind.
Additional information about Newell Brands is available on the company's website, www.newellbrands.com.
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About the NVFC
The National Volunteer Fire Council (NVFC) is the leading nonprofit membership association representing the interests of the volunteer fire, EMS, and rescue services. The NVFC serves as the voice of the volunteer in the national arena and provides critical resources, programs, education, and advocacy for first responders across the nation. Learn more at www.nvfc.org.
Contacts: Sara Tatay or Claire Vartabedian
L.C. Williams & Associates
P: 312-565-4612 or 312-565-4605
E: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
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SOURCE First Alert