It's time to spring forward when daylight saving time starts this Sunday, March 10. As people TURN their clocks forward one hour, the American Red Cross reminds everyone to TEST their smoke alarms.
This weekend is also a good time for everyone to take lifesaving steps to help prepare households for home fires, the nation's most frequent disaster.
Check smoke alarms and replace batteries if needed. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in 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, and sleeping areas. Create and practice your home fire escape plan. Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it's too late.
This weekend, create a home fire escape plan with your household and practice it until everyone can escape in less than two minutes. Escape plans should include at least two ways to escape from every room and 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 knows where to meet.
Each year, the Red Cross responds to more than 62,000 disasters — the vast majority of which are home fires. Every day, seven people die in home fires, and most tragedies occur in homes without working smoke alarms. That's why the Red Cross launched the Home Fire Campaign with community partners in 2014 to reduce needless deaths and injuries.
So far, the Home Fire Campaign has reached more than 1.7 million people and is credited with saving more than 500 lives across the country. The campaign’s volunteers and partners have also installed more than 1.5 million free smoke alarms, reached more than 1.3 million children through youth preparedness programs, and made more than 660,000 households safer from the threat of home fires
People can visit the website for free resources and to learn 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.
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