By GEORGE SHEETS
It has been a tough winter for fires around the village. At least 15 structural fires have occurred in the village this winter -- the total number of structural fires that Oak Lawn typically experiences in a single year. One of those fires occurred in a home that did not have working smoke alarms, where two people died. Oak Lawn Fire Chief George Sheets offers this timely reminder as we “spring forward” one hour on Sunday for Daylight Saving Time.
As daylight saving time approaches on March 9, the Oak Lawn Fire and Rescue Department reminds residents to make another change that could save their lives as we turn the clocks ahead one hour on Sunday morning -- changing the batteries in their smoke and carbon monoxide detectors.
To save lives and prevent needless injuries, the Oak Lawn Fire and Rescue Department has joined the “Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery” campaign. The program urges Americans to adopt a simple, life saving habit: changing smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries when we “spring forward” by turning our clocks ahead one hour for daylight saving time.
The peak time for fires is between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. when most families are sleeping. Smoke alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths. A working smoke alarm can give your family the extra seconds you need to get out of a home fire safely.
In addition, Oak Lawn Fire and Rescue Chief George Sheets recommends that residents use the “extra” hour they save from the time change to test smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors by pushing the test button, planning “two ways out” of a home or business, and practicing escape routes with the entire family. Families should also prepare a fire safety kit that includes working flashlights and fresh batteries.
The Oak Lawn Fire Department is well stocked with smoke alarms. If you or a neighbor need one, contact OLFD. Smoke alarms are FREE to residents and the fire department will help you install it in your home.