March 5, 2013
Ryan Scott Ottney
PDT Staff Writer
Sunday morning begins Daylight Savings Time, turning clocks ahead one hour at 2 a.m. This is also the time to remember to put new batteries in your smoke detectors.
New Boston Fire Chief Chris Bender said a small fire started in the back of a house on Harrisonville Avenue over the weekend, but the two people inside got out safely thanks in part to a functioning smoke alarm. Bender said the two people smelled smoke and heard the alarm and got out of the house. The New Boston Fire Department responded and contained the fire with no injuries and minimal damage.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation, Bender said, but there’s no question that the smoke alarm inside the house worked. He said it’s always a good idea to change the batteries in your smoke alarm twice a year — once when clocks are set forward in the spring and again when they turn back in the fall.
“It’s a good way to remember to do it. A lot of people don’t think about it through the year,” Bender said.
When changing the batteries in your smoke alarm, Bender said you should only use new batteries and never borrow batteries used in other purposes.
“Don’t leave your cooking unattended or your candles. If you’re home, you should be in the room that (the burning candles) are in. Don’t go in the other room and leave it unattended. That’s a big thing,” Bender said.
The Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross in Portsmouth supplies smoke alarms to local fire departments to hand out for free. Mary Arnzen, executive director of the local Red Cross chapter, said firemen will often even install them for free. Anyone interested in receiving a smoke alarm should visit their local fire department, she said.
Arnzen said the Portsmouth Red Cross also has a fire prevention puppet program available for local scouting troops, schools and churches. The free puppet show teaches kids about fire safety and home preparedness.
Arnzen said the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross provided more than $50,000 assistance to 308 people last year following single family fires in Scioto and Pike counties.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 287, or firstname.lastname@example.org.