DCA Reminds New Jersey Residents to "Change Your Clocks, Change Your Batteries"
National Campaign Encourages Fire Safety

TRENTON - New Jersey Department of Community Affairs (DCA) Commissioner Joseph Doria today reminded all New Jersey residents that with Daylight Savings Time occurring this Sunday, March 8th at 2:00 a.m., to "change your clocks, change your batteries".

"As we spring forward one hour, the simple act of changing the batteries in your smoke detector will go a long way towards protecting you and your family," said Commissioner Doria. "Last October, Governor Corzine called upon all New Jersey residents to increase their awareness of fire safety, and this measure is just one of many simple ways they can do so."

US Fire Administration statistics and the DCA's Division of Fire Safety (DFS) fire incident data, which is collected from all fire departments in the state, show that three out of every four fire deaths occur in homes that are not equipped with working smoke detectors. Smoke alarms are still the most effective way of preventing fire deaths in the home. Unfortunately, far too many New Jersey residents that have smoke detectors do not replace the batteries to ensure their continued operation.

In January of this year, the DFS received 15,000 smoke alarms to distribute statewide in partnership with television station WABC 7's "Operation Save-A-Life". Those alarms are being distributed throughout the state.

"Not only do batteries need to be changed annually, but detectors should be replaced every ten years, even if they are still working," said State Fire Marshal and DFS Director Lawrence Petrillo. "If you don’t know or remember when the detector or detectors in your home were installed, it is time to replace them."

The DFS is the central fire service agency in the State of New Jersey, responsible for the development and enforcement of the State Uniform Fire Code, public education programs and firefighter training programs.

For further information on the DFS, please log on to http://www.nj.gov/dca/dfs/, or call 633-6106.