SOURCE: Energizer and International Association of Fire Chiefs
October 23, 2007 15:09 ET
Use Daylight Saving Time to Keep Your Loved Ones Safe
Remember to Change Your Batteries on November 4
ST. LOUIS, MO--(Marketwire - October 23, 2007) - Twenty years ago, the people from
Energizer® Batteries and the nation's firefighters came up with an idea
that likely has saved thousands of homes and perhaps as many lives.
The idea connected two unrelated activities -- changing clocks for Daylight
Saving Time and changing the batteries in smoke alarms and carbon monoxide
detectors. Residents could change their batteries on these important safety
alarms almost anytime, but in fact, many didn't. It's a sad fact that
approximately 80 percent of fire deaths result from fires in homes without
working smoke alarms. Since hardly anyone neglects to change their clocks,
Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) decided to urge Americans through the
Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® program to use the "extra hour" to
change their smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries.
This year, the day to set your clocks back and change batteries in your
smoke detectors is November 4.
The program started in 1987 with just two fire departments in St. Louis and
Atlanta. Now as the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery program
celebrates its 20th anniversary, more than 5,900 fire departments across
the country are participating in the program. And as a result, many
Americans have adopted the habit of changing their batteries at the same
time they change their clocks.
"We have no way of knowing exactly how many lives and homes have been saved
as a result," said Chief Steven P. Westermann, president of the IAFC. "What
we do know is that each year more Americans are replacing their batteries
before they wear out and that helps make each alarm safer."
Having a working smoke alarm can cut the odds of dying in a home fire
nearly in half by adopting this simple habit. Most American homes -- 96
percent in fact -- have smoke alarms; however, more than a quarter of those
homes have at least one nonworking smoke alarm, mostly due to worn out or
missing batteries. The IAFC estimates more than 25 million homes are at
Five common reasons home smoke alarms do not function properly are:
-- Batteries are not replaced in a timely fashion.
-- Batteries are removed due to unwanted activation from situations such
as cooking fumes.
-- Batteries are removed due to a "chirping sound," which actually
indicates the battery needs to be replaced!
-- Alarms and detectors are not cleaned regularly.
-- Alarm is aged and possibly contains outdated parts or technology.
Each of these reasons is easily remedied by either simply replacing the
battery or the device.
"Many people mistakenly believe they will either see the flames or smell
the smoke when a fire breaks out," Chief Westermann said. "But most fire
fatalities happen while families are asleep. Smoke by itself doesn't
provide a wake-up call, but a working smoke alarm surely does."
Westermann also noted that November usually brings the onset of severe
weather, a time when power outages are more frequent. He urged residents to
avoid using candles, which are often the cause of home fires and to instead
use flashlights. Daylight Saving Time is a good time to check batteries in
flashlights as well.
The IAFC (www.iafc.org) is a non-profit association representing nearly
13,000 chief fire officers and emergency services leaders worldwide. Its
members are the world's leading experts in firefighting, emergency medical
services, terrorism response, hazardous materials spills, natural
disasters, search and rescue, and public safety legislation.
Energizer Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: ENR), www.energizer.com, headquartered in
St. Louis, Missouri, is one of the world's largest manufacturers of primary
batteries, battery-powered devices and flashlights. Energizer, a global
leader in the dynamic business of providing portable power geared toward
the new digital revolution, offers a full portfolio of products including,
the Energizer® MAX® premium alkaline brand; Energizer® e2®
Lithium® and Energizer® e2® Titanium Technology® performance
brands; Nickel Metal Hydride (NiMH) Rechargeable batteries and chargers;
and Miniatures brand batteries. Energizer also offers portable
battery-driven power packs for cell phones, portable games and audio
devices. Energizer has been promoting fire safety through its Change Your
Clock Change Your Battery® program since 1987.