One of modern technology's more common items, the smoke detector, is being ignored by many owners, often to their peril.
Non-working smoke detectors contribute to as many as 6,000 fire-related deaths and 130,000 injuries each year, according to Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery, a cooperative campaign sponsored by the International Assn. of Fire Chiefs, the American Burn Assn. and Eveready Battery Co.
They hope that tying in the ritual of time change Oct. 28 with the routine of changing batteries will increase the number of working smoke alarms and emergency flashlights. The group estimates that 50% of home smoke alarms now are useless because of old or missing batteries. And without working flashlights, the difficulty of locating safe, swift exits in night fire situations increases.
Besides this annual routine, checking the batteries with the test button at least once a month is recommended.