Fire departments encourage fire safety as daylight saving ends

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COLUMBIA – Local fire departments are reminding residents this weekend to change their smoke and carbon monoxide detector batteries as they move their clocks back.

The Boone County Fire Protection District, Jefferson City Fire Department and Columbia Fire Department all sent press releases Friday telling people to check their detectors and providing relevant statistics.

“People should be testing their smoke alarms once a month and changing the batteries once a year,” BCFPD Assistant Chief Gale Blomenkamp said. “It’s really a quick check and a very important one.”

Columbia resident Jake Schneider said the reminder is helpful for him because he rarely thinks about changing his own carbon monoxide and smoke detectors.

“I get caught up with work and everything else going on in my life, the house detectors don’t even come to mind,” Schneider said. “Thinking of how it could save my life kind of puts things into perspective.”

According to the Jefferson City Fire Department, more than 4,000 Americans die and more than 20,000 are injured from fires every year. The BCFPD said at least 450 people die from carbon monoxide poisoning.

Blomenkamp said people should be taking home detector checkups in their own homes as seriously as schools do.

“Schools do fire drills once a month, and that’s not even where people are dying in fires,” Blomenkamp said. “It happens in house fires, so why shouldn’t people be doing the same regular checkups in their own homes?”

Daylight saving time ends November 1.