Daylight saving time ends on November 5 and the American Red Cross encourages everyone to test their smoke alarms as they turn their clocks back to make sure the alarms are working.
Home fires claim more lives every year than all natural disasters combined, but working smoke alarms can cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. The sooner an alarm alerts you to a fire, the sooner you can get out.
SMOKE ALARMS When turning your clocks back this weekend, test your smoke alarms and replace the batteries if needed. Visit redcross.org/fire for more information, including an escape plan to create and practice with your family.
Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas.
Replace smoke alarms that are 10 years or older. Components such as sensors can become less sensitive over time. Follow your alarm’s manufacturer instructions.
Practice your two-minute home fire escape plan. Make sure everyone in your household can get out in less than two minutes — the amount of time you may have to escape a burning home before it’s too late.
Include at least two ways to get out of every room and select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone can meet.
If you cannot afford to purchase smoke alarms or are physically unable to install one, the Red Cross may be able to help. Contact your local Red Cross for more information.
You should also download the free Emergency app for instant access to full weather alerts, help preparing for emergency situations and open Red Cross shelter locations. Choose whether you want to view the content in English or Spanish with an easy-to-find language selector. The Emergency app is accessible so that people with disabilities can use it and is compatible with Apple Watch and Android Wearable devices. Find all of the Red Cross apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN SAVE LIVES Since October 2014, the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, working with community partners, has saved at least 1,928 lives by educating families about fire safety, helping them create escape plans and installing free smoke alarms in high-risk areas across the country. To learn more about the campaign and how you can get involved, visit redcross.org/homefires.