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Recent fires are reminders: Check detectors

New Year’s Day 2020 is in the books and, hopefully, a fond memory for you. You may have enjoyed a day off work, perhaps a celebration the night before, and maybe some college football on the big day itself.

Forget to do anything?

Hint: Checked your smoke and / or carbon monoxide detectors lately?

On the heels of a fatal house fire in Youngstown Friday night that claimed the life of a woman who lived there, along with another fire Wednesday that destroyed a Girard home and claimed the life of a family pet, we saw this as a good time to remind readers of the importance of checking those devices today.

Home safety experts advise us that the operation of such devices ought to be checked periodically. Batteries should be changed at least annually, they add. Some suggest remembering to do that when the changeover from or to daylight saving time occurs. Others suggest New Year’s Day.

It makes sense. If you have the day off, you have plenty of time to take just a few minutes to check the detectors and put in fresh new batteries.

Is that really such a big deal? Yes.

Nearly 60 percent of the deaths in home fires occur where no smoke alarms were present — or they were not working, according to the National Fire Protection Association. The death rate in reported home fires was more than twice as high for residences without working smoke detectors.

So yes, it is important.

Not to worry. You forgot to check the smoke and carbon monoxide alarms on New Year’s Day — but the weekend is nearly upon us. That should give you plenty of time to perform a simple task that could save your life or those of loved

ones.

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