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Cook County Reminds Residents to Spring Forward Safely

News Date: 
Thursday, March 9, 2017 - 11:30

It’s one of the simplest and least expensive things people can do around their home and it could save lives. As residents set clocks forward one hour this weekend, Cook County’s Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management (DHSEM) urges everyone to change the batteries in smoke detectors and check to ensure they are in good working order.

A majority of Americans have at least one smoke detector in their home, but in 20 percent of those homes the smoke detectors don’t work, according to data collected by the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).

According to the NFPA, no smoke alarms were present in 38 percent of home fire deaths; another 24 percent of fire deaths occurred in homes where smoke detectors were not working.

In addition to replacing smoke alarm batteries annually, people should test alarms monthly by using the test button and install a smoke detector on every level of their home. Residents should consider installing interconnected smoke alarms throughout their homes so when one is triggered, the others sound as well.

Families should make sure everyone in the home understands the warning of the smoke detector and knows what do if it sounds. DHSEM encourages residents to identify two exit points from each room, practice evacuation plans and designate a meeting place for the family a safe distance from the fire.

For more information, visit www.cookcountyhomelandsecurity.org.

Media may contact Natalia Derevyanny at natalia.derevyanny@cookcountyil.gov or 312.603.8286.

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The Cook County Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Management integrates first responders, their departments and resources from 134 Cook County municipalities, and serves as the central agency in Cook County for coordinating efforts to prevent, protect against, mitigate the effects of, respond to, and recover from all incidents, whether man-made or natural. For more information, visit our website at www.cookcountyhomelandsecurity.org.