Los Angeles, CA, November 2, 2018 — Daylight saving time ends this Sunday, and the American Red Cross urges everyone to test their smoke alarms when turning back their clocks.
As the fall season ushers in cold weather, it also increases the risk of deadly home fires. That’s because heating equipment is the second most common cause of fatalities from home fires—which, on average, take seven lives every day in the U.S., according to the National Fire Protection Association. But working smoke alarms can double a person’s odds of survival.
“The Red Cross wants everyone to stay safe this winter,” said Guillermo Sanchez, Preparedness & Resiliency Manager at the Red Cross of Los Angeles. “This weekend, please take time to ‘turn and test’ to protect you and your family against the season’s life-threatening risk of home fires.” Learn more in this video.
This weekend, the Red Cross asks everyone to take these simple steps:
- Check smoke alarm batteries. When turning the clocks back, take a few minutes to replace the smoke alarm batteries if needed 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 you don’t have working 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 household knows two ways to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.
HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN SAVES LIVES
Through the national Home Fire Campaign, the American Red Cross works with community partners to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires, which take more lives each year than all other natural disasters combined in the U.S. In high-risk neighborhoods here in Los Angeles and across the country, Red Cross volunteers and partners go door-to-door year-round to install free smoke alarms and help residents create home fire escape plans. Since the campaign began in 2014, Red Cross LA has:
- Installed more than 27,364 free smoke alarms
- Helped families make more than 7,242 home fire escape plans
- Reached more 24,483 children through youth preparedness programs
People can visit redcross.org to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved ones from fires, or contact your local Red Cross chapter to find out about smoke alarm installation events in their community.