With daylight saving time beginning Sunday, March 14, we encourage people to test their smoke alarms with the turning forward of the clocks.
“Working smoke alarms can cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half,” said American Red Cross Eastern New York Region Regional CEO Kevin Coffey. “That’s why it’s critical to ‘Turn and Test.’ We hope everyone will follow these lifesaving steps to stay safe from home fires – the nation’s most frequent disaster.”
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Test alarms monthly and replace the batteries at least once a year if your model requires it.
- Replace smoke alarms that are 10 years or older. That’s because the sensor becomes less sensitive over time. Check the date of your smoke alarms and follow the instructions.
- Practice your two-minute escape plan. Make sure everyone in your household can get out in less than two minutes, the amount of time you may have to get out of a burning home before it’s too late. Include at least two ways to get out from 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 knows where to meet.
- Teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like. Talk about fire safety and what to do in an emergency.
Home fires are most of the more than 60,000 disasters the Red Cross responds to each year and, sadly, claim more lives in a typical year than all-natural disasters combined. To help prevent fire-related deaths and injuries, the Red Cross launched the Home Fire Campaign with community partners in 2014 to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries.
So far, the Home Fire Campaign has reached more than 2.3 million people and is credited with saving at least 836 lives across the country. Visit redcross.org/HomeFireStories to learn more.
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, visit redcross.org/eny and follow @RedCrossENY on Twitter.