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Turn Clocks, Test Smoke Alarms

Fire Safety
When we ‘spring ahead’ this weekend, it’s a great time to also test your smoke alarms.

The American Red Cross Minnesota Region would like to remind you to TEST your smoke alarm batteries as you TURN clocks ahead one hour when Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. on Sunday March 12.

“When we ‘spring ahead’ this weekend, it’s a great time to also test your smoke alarms,” says Phil Hansen, CEO for the American Red Cross Minnesota Region. “Take a few minutes to replace your smoke alarm batteries and push the test button to make sure the alarms are working.”  

Take these additional, important steps to make sure you and your loved ones are prepared for emergencies:

Install smoke alarms. If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, they should install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Check local building codes for additional requirements.

Practice an escape plan. Make sure everyone in the household knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.

Get a kit. Keep disaster supplies in an easy-to-carry bag to use at home or carry in case ordered to evacuate.

Make a plan. Have all household members plan what steps they should take if an emergency occurs.

Be informed. Learn what emergencies can occur in the area and how officials notify residents should a disaster occur. 

The Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, which launched in October 2014, is a multi-year, nationwide initiative to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent. As of January 31, 2017, the Red Cross and its partners have helped to save at least 159 lives and installed more than 702,000 smoke alarms in 9,100 cities and towns across the country. In Minnesota, working with our partners, Red Cross volunteers have made thousands of homes safer, installing more than 6,600 alarms, replacing more than 660 batteries and helping create more than 2,200 home fire escape plans. Though programs like The Pillowcase Project, the campaign has also helped teach thousands of kids about home fire preparedness and safety.

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. The Minnesota Region serves 5.2 million people across Minnesota and part of western Wisconsin with offices in Duluth, Mankato, Minneapolis, Rochester and St. Cloud. If someone would like to support disasters big and small, please consider making a donation today by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift. For more information, please visit Like us on Facebook: American Red Cross Minnesota Region. Follow us on Twitter: @mnredcross