Daylight Saving Time begins Sunday at 2:00 a.m., which means it’s time to spring forward and turn the clocks ahead one hour. The American Red Cross reminds everyone it’s also a good time to TEST the batteries in their smoke alarms as they TURN their clocks ahead an hour.
“When you turn your clocks ahead this weekend, it’s a great time to also test your smoke alarms,” said Louise Welch Williams, CEO for the Palmetto SC Region of the Red Cross. “Take a few minutes to replace your smoke alarm batteries and push the test button to make sure the alarms are working.”
It’s also a good time for everyone to take these steps to make sure their household is 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.
Home Fire Campaign The Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, 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 nationwide.
Working with more than 4,000 partners, the campaign has reached more than 806,000 people and made nearly 294,000 households safer, replacing more than 41,000 smoke alarm batteries and helping create more than 248,000 home fire escape plans. Through programs like The Pillowcase Project, the campaign has also helped teach more than 707,000 young people about home fire preparedness and safety.
In the Lowcountry, Red Cross volunteers and partners have already installed more than 8,000 smoke alarms, protecting more than 6,600 people in the past 18 months. Additionally, more than 400 Lowcountry children learned about emergency preparedness through The Pillowcase Project
People can visit redcross.org/sc to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire and other emergencies.
The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its crucial mission. If someone would like to help, please consider making a donation today by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift.