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Red Cross Encourages Testing Smoke Alarms as Daylight Saving Time Begins

BIRMINGHAM, Ala (Oct. 29, 2015) - Daylight Saving Time kicks in at 2:00 a.m. Sunday, and the American Red Cross has a reminder for households across the country: TURN your clocks ahead one hour, and TEST your smoke alarms. When you turn the clocks ahead, take a few minutes to replace the batteries in your smoke alarms and push the test button to make sure the alarms are working. It’s also a great time to check your carbon monoxide detectors. An average of seven people are killed in a home fire every day and an average 36 people suffer from injuries. Unfortunately, these cases could have been prevented if families knew what to do in the event of a house fire.

The Red Cross is asking that every household practices two simple steps that can save lives: practice a two minute fire drill and test or install smoke alarms. If a fire starts, you may only have two minutes to get to safety. Everyone in a household should know of at least two ways to escape from each room in your home and families should have a specific location to meet outside of the home in case of a fire. Having a properly working smoke alarm is important because it alerts families of a fire as soon as a fire is detected. More information on our two minute drills and safety plans can be found here.

“We want families to know that injuries from home fires can be prevented if the entire household follows to these two simple steps: practicing a two minute fire drill and testing their smoke alarms often,” said Alicia Anger, Director of Communications and Marketing, Alabama Region. “Smoke alarms save lives and it is important that households have a properly working alarm and a plan.” 

The American Red Cross and its partners have launched an initiative to make sure households have properly working smoke alarms to prevent home fires. The Home Fire Campaign initiative aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent in five years.  


HOW CAN I MAINTAIN SMOKE ALARMS? Smoke alarms save lives. You should:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
  • Check monthly that smoke alarms are working properly by pushing the test button.
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year.
  • Replace smoke alarms every ten years.

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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

How to donate blood

Simply download the American Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.