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October 22, 2003
This weekend when you change your clock, change your smoke alarm batteries
If a fire occurred in your home, would your smoke alarms work? Don't wait for a
fire to find out. "Protect your family by changing your smoke alarms batteries
at least once a year," says Fire Chief Bill Stewart.

Most tragic home fires happen when people are asleep. Instead of waking you up,
smoke puts you into an even deeper sleep. Your best chance of survival is to
have working smoke alarms that will immediately sound a life-saving alert.
Smoke alarms can alert you and your family and give you the precious seconds
you need to escape. The majority of fire deaths occur in homes that don't have
working smoke alarms. By simply installing and maintaining your smoke alarms
you are cutting the risk of perishing in a home fire by 50 per cent.

After you change your smoke alarm batteries, you should test the alarms by
pressing their test button. If you have difficulty reaching your alarms, use a
broom handle, hockey stick or a cane to gently press the test button for a few

Smoke alarms are inexpensive, easy to install and should be tested at least
once every month. In addition, by gently vacuuming them you can remove dust
that may activate false alarms and prevent your alarm from detecting smoke.

Everyone also needs to regularly practice their home escape plan so that all
family members, especially children, know two ways out of a fire.

For more information, visit the Toronto Fire Service's Web site at

Media contact:
Captain David Sheen, 416-338-9317, pager: 416-468-9978, cell: 416-578-4316



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