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Red Cross Reminder: Turn and Test Smoke Alarms for Daylight Saving Time

Red Cross and partners have saved nearly 200 lives by installing 702,000 smoke alarms across the country

WASHINGTON, Thursday, March 9, 2017 — Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. this Sunday. This is the best opportunity for the American Red Cross to remind everyone that it’s a good time to TEST the batteries in their smoke alarms as they TURN their clocks ahead an hour.

This weekend is also a good time for everyone to take these additional steps that can help save lives and prepare households for emergencies.

  • Practice fire drills at home. Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late. Every household should create a fire escape plan and practice it until everyone can escape in less than two minutes. Escape plans should also include at least two ways to escape from every room, and a safe spot where family members can meet after leaving the home.
  • Check smoke alarms. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying from a home fire by half. Test smoke alarms once a month. Change the batteries at least once a year – if your model requires it. Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms.
  • Launched in October 2014, the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign is a national initiative to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires. With the support of thousands of local partners, the Red Cross has helped to save at least 197 lives and installed more than 702,000 smoke alarms in 9,100 communities nationwide. The campaign has made 294,000 households safer and helped create more than 248,000 home fire escape plans. In addition, through programs like The Pillowcase Project, the campaign has helped teach more than 707,000 young people about home fire preparedness and safety.

    GET INVOLVED Nearly every weekend, the Red Cross is joining with local partners across the country to install smoke alarms and share fire safety information in neighborhoods at high risk for home fires. To volunteer and help keep families safe from home fires, contact your local Red Cross chapter today.

    Learn more about the Home Fire Campaign in this video featuring the Red Cross’s national charity partner, the Harlem Globetrotters.

    The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its crucial mission. 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.

    People can visit to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire or contact their local Red Cross to find out about smoke alarm installation events in their community.

    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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.