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Firefighters Remind Homeowners To Check Smoke Detectors

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Standing in front of a mock-up of Mrs. O'Leary's barn, Chicago Firefighter Preston Roberson teaches kids some of the basics of fire safety, including checking the batteries on smoke detectors every spring and fall. (Credit: CBS)

Standing in front of a mock-up of Mrs. O’Leary’s barn, Chicago Firefighter Preston Roberson teaches kids some of the basics of fire safety, including checking the batteries on smoke detectors every spring and fall. (Credit: CBS)

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CHICAGO (CBS) – Cal Ripken Jr., a calf, the Energizer Bunny and Chicago Fire Commissioner Jose Santiago teamed up on Michigan Avenue Monday in front of a mock-up of Mrs. O’Leary’s famous barn, to promote fire safety and battery sales, with the end of Daylight Saving Time approaching next month.

WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody reports, during the event, Firefighter Preston Roberson led grade schoolers in a chant of “take me to the smoke detector,” to remind parents to check the batteries on their smoke detectors when they set the clocks back an hour on Nov. 4.

Baseball Hall of Famer Cal Ripken Jr., a spokesman for Energizer batteries, underscored the mantra “change the clocks, change the batteries,” a slogan to remind homeowners to check their smoke detector every spring and fall when the time changes.

LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s John Cody Reports

Roberson also took the kids through fundamentals of what to do if there is a fire.

“If the front door’s on fire, what other door can I get out of?” he asked the kids.

“Back door,” they answered in unison.

Roberson also told the kids to “crawl like a baby” to avoid smoke if there is a fire in their home.

All this took place in front of a mock-up of Mrs. O’Leary’s famous barn, where the Great Chicago Fire started on Oct. 8, 1871, near the old Chicago Water Tower, the only structure that survived the flames that devastated the city. Folklore often blames Mrs. O’Leary’s cow for starting the fire by kicking over a lantern, but the reporter who wrote that account later admitted he made it up.

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