According to the National Fire Protection Association, 62 percent of home fire deaths happen in homes without smoke alarms or where smoke alarms are not working. Many people believe they will wake up if they smell smoke, but smoke inhalation can cause a person to drift into a deeper sleep and may kill in less than a minute.

Sunday, Nov. 3 at 2 a.m. is when we remember to “fall back” by setting our clocks behind an hour. This is also an excellent time to adopt the habit of changing the batteries in all smoke detectors to ensure they are in working order and replace any smoke detectors that have been used for 10 years or more.

If you have Ten-Year, lithium battery smoke detectors, it is still a good habit to test them. Smoke detectors double your chances of surviving a fire.

The winter months ahead will bring about new fire risks as people use heaters, candles and prepare meals for holidays. Remember to inspect your smoke detectors, which are your first line of defense should a fire occur. It is also important to have a fire escape plan and to be aware of basic fire safety measures.

For more information, please go to, and follow the prevention link to “Install Inspect Protect Smoke Detectors” and for safe heating tips this winter go to

If you do not have a working smoke detector, or you may need help with installation, please contact your local fire department. Any questions regarding fire safety can be directed to the Athens City Fire Department at 740-592-3301.

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