Tuesday, November 1 — Daylight Saving Time ends this Sunday, November 6 and the American Red Cross reminds everyone to ‘turn’ their clocks back an hour and ‘test’ the batteries in their smoke alarms. The Red Cross recommends that all Louisiana residents have working smoke alarms on every level of their home, including inside and outside bedrooms.
“Thirteen people have died in home fire-related deaths in Louisiana in the past two months,” says Joshua Joachim, regional chief executive for the Louisiana Red Cross. “As temperatures begin to drop, we traditionally see an uptick in home fires around the holidays. Smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half, and turn and test is a quick practice to make sure yours are all in working order.”
Statistics from FEMA show that the leading cause of winter home fires is from cooking, particularly around the holidays. Other seasonal features such as candles, Christmas trees, and heating equipment such as radiators, floor heaters and fireplaces also contribute to an increased risk of a home fire.
The Louisiana Red Cross has helped 420 families in the past three months, including more than 1,400 residents. As part of the Home Fire Campaign, a national effort to reduce the number of deaths and injuries due to home fires by 25 percent over the next five years, the Red Cross has worked diligently with local partners to make sure families are prepared in the event of a home fire.
“In addition to working smoke alarms, it is also important that families create and practice a fire escape plan,” Joachim said. “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.”
Since October 2014, the Red Cross and partners have saved more than 110 lives nationwide – including 11 here in Louisiana – as part of the Home Fire Campaign.
Turn and test is a time to make sure all households are prepared for home fires and other emergencies:
- Create and practice a fire 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. Select a location outside for everyone to meet.
- Download the Red Cross Emergency App, which includes content on how to prevent home fires and what to do if one occurs. The Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies App is a game designed for kids. Both apps are available for free in app stores or atredcross.org/apps.
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 cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.