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.
"It's important for everyone to make sure their household is ready," said Marty McKellips, CEO of the American Red Cross, Central & South Texas Region. “A disaster like a home fire can happen anywhere, at any time. We urge people to take these steps now and know what they should do if an emergency occurs.
- Check smoke alarm batteries. When turning the clocks ahead, take a few minutes to replace the smoke alarm batteries and push the test button to make sure the alarms are working. It’s also a great time to check carbon monoxide detectors.
- Install smoke alarms. If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, 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 family 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.
RED CROSS APPS People can learn how to help prevent a home fire and what to do if one occurs by downloading the Red Cross Emergency App. They can use the app’s Family Safe feature to help stay in touch with loved ones. Children can earn points and incentives in a fun, gaming environment while learning how to prevent a home fire and other emergencies in the Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies App. The First Aid App provides expert advice including what to do for burns, broken bones, and breathing and cardiac emergencies. The apps can be downloaded for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.
HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire. 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.
WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO People can visit redcross.org/homefires to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire. Smoke Alarm installation events are planned across Central and South Texas. For more information on how to get a smoke alarm, become a volunteer or make a donation, visit redcross.org/Austin or call 1-800-928-4271.