Fire officials: Remember to switch out smoke alarm batteries

WASHINGTON — A week after a Capitol Heights, Maryland woman died in a house fire, fire officials are reminding the public to change the batteries in their smoke detectors.

Or even better: Invest in a new smoke detector with a 10-year battery — Maryland law will require this of residents starting in 2018.

Prince George’s County Fire and EMS spokesman Mark Brady said the deadly fire in Capitol Heights illustrates why it is so important to have working smoke detectors.

Her death, like many others, could have been prevented, said Brady.

“We found a wall plate where a smoke alarm used to be,” said Brady. “For whatever reason, whether it was a low-battery chirp or perhaps it they were cooking, they removed that smoke alarm.”

Last year, 10 people died in accidental fires in Prince George’s County alone. Nationwide, around 3,000 people died of fire-related injuries in 2016, Brady said.

“If everybody had a working smoke alarm, we feel we could save 2,000 of those people,” said Brady. “Having a working smoke alarm increases the chances of you surviving a fire in your home by over 50 percent.”

Jenny Glick

Jenny Glick joined WTOP as a fill-in anchor and reporter in June 2016. She previously worked as an Enterprise Reporter/Midday Anchor on WNEW in Washington.

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