Wichita Fire Department (WFD) officials are reminding residents to test their smoke alarms and install new batteries this weekend. The time will fall back one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday.
"This is a perfect time to test your smoke alarms and replace your 9-volt battery," Fire Chief Ronald D. Blackwell said. "Working smoke alarms save lives and should be placed in the vicinity of your living space and bedrooms."
The WFD reported three fire deaths in Wichita this year; two fire deaths were the result of careless smoking and neither home had working smoke alarms. Most smoke alarms need to be replaced after 10 years of use.
More than one-third (37%) of home fire deaths resulted from fires in which no smoke alarms were present at all. One-quarter (23%) of the deaths were caused by fires in properties in which smoke alarms were present but failed to operate according to recent data supplied by the National Fire Protection Association.
Thanks to a number of community partnerships, the WFD is providing free smoke alarms and batteries to home owners who do not have one. Firefighters will install them at no cost. Residents should call the WFD at 268-4441 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday to set up an appointment. Firefighters will also test existing smoke alarms for residents.
For future information or questions regarding smoke alarms or fire prevention safety, please call 268-4441, visit
www.wichita.gov, or find the WFD on Facebook.