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Red Cross Says Turn and Test: Turn Back Clocks and Test Smoke Alarms

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Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half

Daylight Saving Time ends Sunday, November 6 and the American Red Cross reminds everyone to ‘turn’ their clocks back an hour and ‘test’ the batteries in their smoke alarms. The Red Cross recommends that all South Carolina residents have working smoke alarms on every level of their home, including inside and outside bedrooms. 

Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half,” said Louise Welch Williams, regional CEO for the Red Cross in South Carolina. “Turn and test is a reminder to set your clocks back and take a few minutes to push the test button to make sure all alarms are working.” 

It’s also an opportunity to make sure all households are prepared for home fires and other emergencies:

  • When testing smoke alarms, check the date. Smoke alarms need to be replaced every ten years to make sure they will work if a fire breaks out in the home.
  • Create and practice a fire escape plan. Make sure everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes. Select a location outside for everyone to meet.
  • Keep disaster supplies in an easy-to-carry bag to use at home or carry in case ordered to evacuate. A variety of emergency preparedness kits and supplies are available at
  • Download the Red Cross Emergency App which includes content on how to prevent home fires and what to do if one occurs. The Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies App is a game designed for kids. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at

HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN The Red Cross responds to 66,000 disasters across the country every year and most of these are home fires. Here in South Carolina, the Red Cross responds to a home fire every four hours. Tragically, some people lose their lives in these fires and countless others are injured. The Red Cross has launched the Home Fire Campaign to reduce the number of deaths and injuries due to home fires by 25 percent over the next five years.

Since October of 2014, the Red Cross and partners have saved more than 110 lives as part of the Home Fire Campaign, 11 of these in South Carolina. The Red Cross is committing to install 2.5 million free smoke alarms in neighborhoods at high risk for fires, and educate those residents about fire prevention and preparedness during the multi-year campaign.

Since the Home Fire Campaign began, more than 38,000 smoke alarms have been installed across South Carolina by the Red Cross and its partners and more than 5,000 children have been reached through youth preparedness education programs, such as The Pillowcase Project.

WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO People can visit to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved ones from a fire. They can become a Red Cross volunteer. They can also help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS, sending a donation to the Red Cross at 2424 City Hall Lane, North Charleston, SC 29406 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.


About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; 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 mission. For more information, please visit or @RedCrossSC