Public safety officials in Pittsburgh are encouraging residents to participate in the “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery” program. In efforts to promote fire safety in the home, residents are encouraged to change the batteries in their smoke detectors when they turn the clocks back early Sunday Morning November 4.
Colleen Walz, the Deputy Chief of the Pittsburgh Fire Bureau, said technological improvements have greatly helped the program, which is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year.
“The fire deaths in the United States, although it’s not ideal at this time, has dramatically changed with the smoke detector technology. The number one place where children, and actually most people die, is residential, in your home,” Walz said.
Firefighters went door-to-door earlier this month offering home safety inspections and distributing free batteries and smoke detectors. They were also trying to ensure all residents have a two-exit escape plan.
Walz said it has always been a city ordinance to have a smoke detector in the home, but the mandate has recently been changed in minor ways. “By code, you should have a smoke detector on every level of your home, and you should have a smoke detector inside every sleeping area, most common that’s a bedroom,” Walz said.
Residents may request a smoke detector by calling the Mayor’s 311 hotline. They can also ask for a firefighter to install the device in their homes at no additional charge.