This Sunday marks the end of Daylight Saving Time for 2021, meaning we will “fall back” one hour. As you turn back your clocks this weekend, the American Red Cross asks everyone to also test their smoke alarms.
Home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster and tragically take seven lives every day in this country. Individuals may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late. An early warning from a working smoke alarm, plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly, can save lives.
“It’s critical to take action now to be as safe as possible as the threat of home fires increases with the holidays and cooler weather,” said Mike Parks, Regional CEO, American Red Cross of Northern Ohio. “In fiscal year 2021, Red Cross volunteers in our region responded to more than 1,100 home fires. The good news is that you can take a few simple steps this weekend to help protect your loved ones.”
Follow these simple tests to get your home ready:
- Test all existing smoke alarms, and make a plan to check them monthly.
- Check to make sure you have smoke alarms installed on every level of your home, including inside and outside of bedrooms and sleeping areas.
- Replace any smoke alarms that are 10 years old 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. 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.
Red Cross Home Fire Campaign
Since October 2014, the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign with community partners has saved at least 1,048 lives by educating families about fire safety, helping them create escape plans and installing more than 2.2 million free smoke alarms in high-risk homes across the country.
For more information, including safety tips and free resources, visit redcross.org/homefires or download the free Red Cross Emergency app by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in app stores.