Check the batteries in your smoke alarms, please.
That’s the request firefighters from Central Pierce Fire & Rescue are making this week throughout the community after responding to two fires at Puyallup apartment complexes recently in which the smoke detectors were not working.
In both of those incidents, the occupants made it out safely, they said, but next time that may not be the case.
“Anytime there’s a delay there’s a much bigger chance that someone’s going to get hurt or that we have a real negative consequence,” said Guy Overby, assistant fire chief with Central Pierce.
Firefighters took to the streets last week, handing out fliers at local complexes to spread the word.
“We’ve really started a campaign to go out to these different apartment complexes in the community and hand out some fliers,” Overby said. “Let them know how important it is to have working smoke detectors in their units.”
One thing many people often don’t realize, he said, is that it is their responsibility to keep the detectors in working order.
“If you live in an apartment complex, it’s not the apartment complex’s manager, it’s not their maintenance person’s responsibility to change the batteries in your detector,” he said. “You as the resident, it’s your responsibility to do that.”
Firefighters recommend people change the batteries in smoke detectors twice a year. They suggest using the start and end of daylight saving time as a reminder. Detectors should also be replaced every 10 years.
Overby said the agency is so concerned about getting the word out that if you need help, they are happy to oblige.
“If you’re physically unable to change the batteries in your smoke detector or if you have a financial hardship that keeps you from doing that,” he said, “give us a call here at Central Pierce Fire & Rescue and we’ll come out and take care of that for you.”