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Reminder: Test Smoke Alarms when Turning Clocks ahead for Daylight Saving

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Red Cross workers and partners in Iowa have installed more than 1,000 free smoke alarms in 2016.

The American Red Cross and thousands of Home Fire Campaign partners have helped save at least 77 lives and installed more than a quarter of a million smoke alarms in homes all across the country since the campaign launched in October of 2014.

Here in the Iowa Region, Red Cross workers and partners have installed more than 1,000 free smoke alarms, changed more than 115 batteries and created more than 350 home fire escape plans this year. 

“Every day seven people die in a home fire somewhere in the United States. Working with our partners, we are changing that by making people safer with each new smoke alarm we install,” said Julie Struck, Regional Disaster Officer for the Iowa Region of the Red Cross. “The campaign has already helped to save the lives of dozens of people and we know that number will only grow as more alarms are installed and more people take action to prevent home fires.” 

Smoke alarm installation events are planned throughout the Iowa Region this spring and the Red Cross is always looking for volunteers to install smoke alarms, provide residents with fire safety and preparedness information and more. Projects are planned in the following Iowa communities:

  • Cushing/Woodbury County: April 2
  • Dubuque: April 9
  • Madrid: April 9
  • Cedar Valley (Waterloo and Cedar Falls): April 23
  • Sioux City: April 30
  • Ottumwa: May 7 
  • Fort Dodge: May 21 
  • Clinton: May 21
  • Ogden: June 11
  • Iowa City: June 18 
  • Home Fire Campaign supporters and partners here in Iowa include the following: The Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, Iowa Firefighters Association, Nationwide, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, State Farm, Mercy Medical Center Sioux City, Transamerica and Walmart.

    On January 25, 2016, a smoke alarm installed by Fort Dodge Firefighters and Red Cross volunteers alerted Jamie Robinson, Ed Derrig and their two young daughters, to a fire in their home. All got out safely because of the new smoke alarms and the escape plan they created with Red Cross volunteer, Peggy Jordan. 


    Daylight Saving Time occurs at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning, March 13, and the Red Cross reminds everyone to TURN AND TEST – turn their clocks ahead one hour and test their smoke alarms. If someone’s home is lacking smoke alarms, residents should install smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. The alarms should be tested every month and the batteries replaced at least once a year, or according to the alarm manufacturer’s instructions.

    Every household should develop a fire escape plan and practice it several times a year and at different times of the day. The plan should include two ways to get out of every room and a place to meet outside. Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas or homes with two stories or more.

    People can visit to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved ones from fire or contact their local Iowa chapter of the Red Cross: Central Iowa (515) 243-768; Northeast Iowa (563) 583-6451; North & Western Iowa (712) 252-4081; South & Eastern Iowa (319) 393-3500 or go to to learn about the location of local smoke alarm installation events. They can also help by volunteering their time or making a donation today to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.