Change Clocks, Change Batteries, Change Fire Safety Habits



    National Fire Safety Poll Released as Rash of Fire Tragedies Occur

    TORONTO, March 5 /CNW/ - The following B-Roll is available at the listed
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    STORY SUMMARY: A National Fire Safety Poll conducted by Ipsos Reid has
just been released that tells a story of smoke alarm tampering by more than
half of Canadians. 54 per cent admit to tampering with their smoke alarms.
Meanwhile officials have raised alarm over the increasing number of fire
tragedies this winter.
    Most alarming is the poll finding that 74 per cent of those surveyed
mistakenly believe that smoke alarms never need to be replaced so long as the
alarm sounds when the Test button is pressed. Fire safety officials point out
that this only proves the unit has power, NOT that it is working within its
acceptable lifespan. Another 37 per cent of respondents believe their smoke
alarms last for as long as they live in their home.
    The National Fire Safety Poll reveals a number of concerning habits and
beliefs that compromise the public's safety. Canadians remove the batteries
from their smoke alarms, or take them off the ceiling to silence a nuisance
alarm, at a disturbing rate, and an equally high number admit to forgetting to
putting their batteries back in the alarm.
    "This is a good news-bad news story," says Bill Stewart of the Canadian
Association of Fire Chiefs. "The good news is that people are doing a better
job regularly replacing the batteries in their smoke alarms. The bad news is
that they don't realize smoke alarms wear out, so homes are often not as safe
as people think they are."

    The release of the National Fire Safety Poll comes on the eve of the
annual 'change your clocks change your batteries' public education campaign.
The new revelations from the poll will make for a compelling piece, perhaps
localized by your station with a man-in-the-street approach probing your
viewers on their own habits regarding smoke alarm tampering, maintenance and
replacement.

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