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Red Cross Reminder: Check Smoke Alarms When Clocks Spring Forward

Philadelphia, March 7, 2015– Daylight Saving Time is this weekend and when everyone turns their clocks ahead, the American Red Cross reminds them to also take these steps to make sure their household is prepared for emergencies. Between November 2014 and February 2015, In the Eastern Pennsylvania Region, the Red Cross responded to approximately 400 disasters, many of them home fires.  

“It’s important for everyone to make sure their household is ready,” said Judge Renée Cardwell Hughes (Ret.), CEO, Eastern Pennsylvania Region of the American Red Cross. “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.

Home Fire Preparedness Campaign The Red Cross responds to 70,000 disasters across the country every year and most of these are home fires. Tragically, some people lose their lives in these fires, countless others are injured. The Red Cross has launched the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign to reduce the number of deaths and injuries due to home fires by 25 percent over the next five years.

The campaign is happening all over the country and involves Red Cross workers joining with local fire departments and community groups to visit neighborhoods at high risk for fires. Those visits include educating people about fire safety through door-to-door visits and installation of smoke alarms in some of these neighborhoods.

You can help people affected by disasters like home fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @ARC_EasternPA.