ST. LOUIS, Oct. 2, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- The message is simple, and the habit can be lifesaving. Thirty-eight percent of fatal fire injuries occur in homes without working smoke alarms, while 24 percent occur in homes in which at least one smoke alarm is present but fails to operate, frequently due to dead or missing batteries.* For 25 years, the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® program has been dedicated to helping share the life-saving reminder to change the batteries in your home's smoke and carbon monoxide detectors when you change your clocks for daylight savings. This year, Energizer and the International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC) will mark the silver anniversary of one of the nation's top home fire safety programs by turning back the clocks of time to celebrate the many life-saving fire safety and preparedness innovations that are now available.
On Monday, Oct. 1, one week before the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire that killed hundreds and devastated the city in 1871, the Energizer Bunny® Brigade led by MLB Hall-of-Famer Cal Ripken Jr. "re-created" the O'Leary barn, where by legend, the fire started at an event on the grounds of the Chicago Water Tower, the only building to survive the fire. The story goes that Mrs. Catherine O'Leary's cow kicked over a candle, starting an inferno that consumed 3.3 square miles of the city. But on this occasion, Ripken and Chicago firefighters demonstrated how advances and educational programs over the past century have made our communities safer so mass fire tragedies can be prevented.
"In the past 25 years, the number of home fire deaths has substantially decreased," said Chief Hank Clemmensen, IAFC president and chairman of the board. . "That success is mostly thanks to the thousands of hours—every year for 25 years—that local fire departments have dedicated to improving the safety environment through technology, policy and, especially, public education efforts like the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery ® program. But the world does not stand still, local fire department budgets are shrinking, many people still don't have a basic baseline of protection from smoke alarms, and we must keep pace with changes in technology and the built environment, It's still vital that homes be equipped with working smoke detectors in order to give families those critical extra seconds to escape."To help give more families those critical seconds, Energizer is honoring its 25 th year by donating 250,000 batteries to fire departments across the country to distribute to local families in their areas and adopting 25 fire departments in 25 cities across the nation, who, in addition to batteries, will be equipped with a variety Energizer® family safety products for their department and to share in their communities. Together, they will host Home Safety Days and neighborhood canvasses spanning throughout National Fire Prevention Month in October until the end of daylight saving time on Sunday, Nov. 4. "We began the Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® program with the IAFC 25 years ago to do our part in helping to keep families safe, "said Michelle Atkinson, Vice President of Marketing for Energizer North America. "Today it's amazing to look back and see how the more than four million batteries donated through hundreds of neighborhood canvasses has translated to countless lives being saved. It's another example of our philosophy of – that's positivenergy brought to life. We are grateful to the IAFC, local fire departments across the country and this year Cal Ripken, Jr. for helping us share this message and make a positive impact." Ripken, known as the Energizer Bunny® of baseball for his record of consecutive games played (2,632!), has worked with Energizer for the past seven years to honor people and programs that celebrate positivity and make a difference. "Being able to raise awareness for efforts that are making a positive impact is a passion of mine," said Ripken, who is the founder of his own nonprofit created in honor of his dad called the Cal Ripken, Sr. Foundation. "I'm honored to join Energizer, the International Association of Fire Chiefs and firefighters nationwide on a program geared toward helping families stay safe at home." In Chicago, Ripken will lead the first of the neighborhood canvasses with fire officials who will conduct fire safety inspections and distribute Family Safety Kits, stocked with products designed to help keep homes safe including smoke detectors, Energizer® MAX® batteries and Energizer® Weatheready® flashlights. The Change Your Clock Change Your Battery® program is just one of the ways Energizer brings to life the company's commitment to making a positive impact in communities across the country. that's positivenergy™