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Donated smoke alarms, batteries save lives as DST ends this weekend

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Smoke alarm inspection

When Daylight Savings Time ends this weekend, it’s a perfect time to replace batteries in smoke alarms. The modest investment of new batteries may save your life. The Springfield Fire Department will even install batteries and smoke alarms for free to families with children in school.

On average, a home structure fire is reported every 87 seconds in the U.S., often in homes that don’t have a functioning smoke alarm.

During Fire Prevention Month, Springfield firefighters visited 37 Springfield schools and sent more than 8,000 students’ home with surveys asking if the homes have working smoke alarms and if not, if they would like the Fire Department to install one at no charge. The department received thousands of responses and more than 300 requests for smoke alarm or battery installations.

To aid in this ambitious effort, HBA of Springfield and Meek’s Lumber & Hardware donated 400 smoke alarms to the Springfield Fire Department. Additionally, Battery Outfitters will donate nearly 200 nine-volt batteries. In the coming weeks, Springfield fire crews will begin contacting families that expressed a need for a smoke alarm or battery to schedule a time for installation.

“We are grateful to the HBA, Meek’s and Battery Outfitters for making hundreds of families safer at home,” said Assistant Chief of Prevention Randy Villines. “We know that having a working smoke alarm doubles your chances of surviving a fire and every child deserves that chance.”

Donation Presentation Oct. 30

Members of the media are welcome to attend a presentation of the donations which will take place at 2 p.m. Thursday at Springfield Fire Department Headquarters1st Floor, Historic City Hall, 830 Boonville Avenue.

At 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 2, Daylight Savings Time will end for 2014, time to turn back clocks one hour. It’s also a perfect weekend to replace batteries and test your smoke alarm and carbon monoxide alert device as well. Products  that can produce carbon Monoxide include malfunctioning fuel-burning appliances such as improperly vented furnaces, ranges, water heaters and room heaters; engine-powered equipment such as portable generators; fireplaces; and charcoal that is burned in homes and other enclosed areas. The modest investment of new batteries may save your life. The Springfield Fire Department will even install batteries and smoke alarms for free to families with children in school.

George Freeman is a veteran journalist and photographer. An award-winning writer, editor and columnist in Springfield, Mo., with more than 50 years experience. His preference is for positive and uplifting stories about people, places, traditions and trends that make the Ozarks one of the most livable regions anywhere. A member of the Garden Writers Association of America, he is a past-president of the Society of Professional Journalists of Southwest Missouri, the Kansas and Ohio AP societies; a board member of Friends of the Garden and a member of the Rotary Club of Springfield. In 1976, he traveled to India as a member of a Rotary Foundation Group Study Exchange Team.

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