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OWL VFD Reminds Local Residents to Change Their Smoke Detector Batteries

Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire Department help residents of River Ridge Protect their property and lives with Smoke Detector Inspections.


Woodbridge, Virginia

Teams of O.W.L. V.F.D members visited over 40 homes last weekend in the River Ridge community to test smoke and carbon monoxide detectors and change batteries.  Residents were ready, with new batteries in hand and open doors to welcome the fire fighters. 

Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire Department reminds residents that one easy step can help save their lives and the lives of those around them. Twice a year change the batteries in their own smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors, test the alarms and remind friends, family, neighbors and fellow community members to do the same.

Communities nationwide witness tragic home fire deaths each year, but, everyone can work together to help reduce the number of home fire fatalities.  Approximately every three hours a home fire death occurs somewhere in the nation and 66 percent of those occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Non-working smoke alarms rob residents of the protective benefits home fire safety devices were designed to provide. The most commonly cited cause of non-working smoke alarms: worn or missing batteries.

“Eighty percent of child fire fatalities occur in homes without working smoke alarms. It’s a tragic statistic that could be reduced by adopting the simple habit of the changing your battery when you change your clocks” says Jim McAllister, Chief OWL VFD.  

Changing smoke alarm batteries twice a year, testing those alarms and reminding others to do the same are some of the simplest, most effective ways to reduce these tragic deaths and injuries. Additionally, the International Association of Fire Chiefs recommends that smoke alarms in homes should be replaced every 10 years and having both ionization and photo electric smoke alarms are best to alert people to all types of home fires.

“The peak time for home fire fatalities is between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. when most families are sleeping,” says McAllister. “Smoke alarm maintenance is a simple, effective way to reduce home fire deaths. Children and senior citizens are most at risk, and a working smoke alarm can give them the extra seconds they need to get out safely.”

OWL VFD is one the largest and busiest volunteer fire departments in the United States with over 300 members. OWL VFD provides fire suppression, EMS care, and rescue services to 80,000 residents in our 27 square mile area through the operation of three fire stations. OWL volunteer Firefighters and EMTs work the 6 pm to 6 am shift, five days a week, plus 24/7 holidays and weekends.

For more information on OWL VFD, visit or become a fan on Facebook at Occoquan-Woodbridge-Lorton Volunteer Fire Department.

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