Wichita Fire Department (WFD) officials are reminding residents to test their smoke alarms and install new batteries this weekend. The time will spring forward one hour at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 9.
About 2,500 people die in home fires every year in the United States. Most deaths occurred in homes that did not have a working smoke alarm, according to the National Fire Protection Agency (NFPA).
“We want to encourage residents to change their smoke alarm batteries during the time change,” WFD Fire Chief Ronald D. Blackwell said. “Working smoke alarms are proven to save lives.”
WFD is providing free smoke alarms and batteries to home owners who do not have one, thanks to a partnership with the Safe Kids Coalition, Shelter Insurance, Tyco SimplexGrinnell and Interstate All-Pack Batteries. Firefighters will install them at no cost. Residents should call the WFD at 268-4441 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. to schedule an appointment. Firefighters will also test existing smoke alarms for residents. Most smoke alarms need to be replaced after 10 years of use.
For future information regarding smoke alarms and fire safety, please call 268-4441, visit www.wichita.gov, or find the WFD on Facebook.