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This is what Milo Ventimiglia wants you to take away from his TV death

"This Is Us" star Milo Ventimiglia is not a dad in real life, but he plays one on NBC... and he has some parental advice.
by Allison Slater Tate / / Source: TODAY Contributor

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When Milo Ventimiglia's "This Is Us" character, Jack Pearson, died, hordes of fans sobbed.

Jack died after a house fire in which the family's smoke detector did not work because Jack did not change the batteries.

The good news is, Ventimiglia is alive and well. But he has a request: This Sunday, when you set those clocks forward for daylight saving time, change those batteries.

Ventimiglia is working with battery brand Duracell to use his character's fate to remind parents of the importance of keeping those smoke alarms in good working order.

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"Two-thirds of all fire fatalities are the result of faulty equipment in the home," Ventimiglia told TODAY Parents. "We have to change that statistic. This kind of preventive measure is important, especially for parents."

Ventimiglia, who is not a father himself but famously plays the beloved father of three on the hit TV series, said he was surprised when he found out that changing smoke detector batteries along with his clocks is something his own father practices.

"He told me, 'I always do that!' and I said, 'Really?' I had no idea," Ventimiglia laughed. The actor, 40, said his best parenting education has been from his own parents and how they raised him and his sisters.

"My mother and father were very patient with us," Ventimiglia said. "They gave my sisters and I the understanding of the things that were out in the world, the pitfalls young adults don’t quite see because they dont have the perspective yet."

Like his parents, Ventimiglia now warns the child actors who play his children on the show about potential issues with stardom and social media they might not realize on their own. "It's too easy to get lost in the idea of being a celebrity or the idea of the adoration that comes with being on a successful show like this," he said.

"I try to remind them that the real reason they are there is to do the work. The work is the best. It's not all about how many likes they get on social media."

Ventimiglia said he believes social media can be a positive or negative force in our lives. "It's all in how we use it," he observed. "Right now, it's very good for current events. But kids get dependent on it; they get used to everything being available right now. Life takes time. Earning something takes time. So it can be a double-edged sword."

And though he is not a parent himself, he believes that parenting is a lot about trying to teach kids responsibility and accountability. "You do your best, you protect them as much as you can, and then they have to live their own lives," he said.

"You arm them with the tools they need to be successful in life. Inspire them to be kind and gracious and good."

Sounds a lot like something Jack Pearson would say.

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