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A safer, smarter way to spend that extra hour when you fall back this weekend

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You'll sleep better knowing you've taken these safety steps. Zzzzzz.

Time, it is said, is on your side. That may not always be the case, but it’s certainly true this weekend. Daylight Savings Time kicks in on Saturday night, and rather than simply sleeping away that extra hour you gain when you set your clocks back—tempting as that may be—the Red Cross wants to recommend a safer, smarter way to spend that hour.

1. Replace batteries in your smoke alarms. The common 9-volt batteries in most smoke alarms generally last six months, so it’s good to replace them twice a year. The “spring forward” and “fall back” time changes are a good time to do this.

2. If you don’t have smoke alarms, or your smoke alarms are more than 10 years old, call the Red Cross and set up an appointment to have us come to your home and install them for free.

3. Spend 15 minutes going over your family fire drill. You generally have as little as two minutes to escape a home fire. That’s not a lot of time when you’re trying to find your way through thick, black smoke and flames. Make sure everyone in your house knows two ways to get out of every room, and where to meet once out of the house. Remember, get out, stay out and then call 911.

4. And, if your kids aren’t tired of monsters yet, have them download the Red Cross Monster Guard app, which teaches kids how to prepare for real-life emergencies through a fun and engaging game.

And, even if that doesn’t make you feel safer and happier, completing all of these tasks should take you no more than 30 minutes tops, meaning you can still squeeze in an extra half hour of sleep. And you’ll sleep better knowing you’re safe. Zzzzzz.