As people turn their clocks back this weekend for the end of daylight saving time, the American Red Cross asks everyone to also test their smoke alarms.
“This weekend, please ‘turn and test’ to help protect your family from home fires, which tragically take seven lives each day in the United States,” said Jonathan Shapiro, who as Regional Disaster Officer leads Red Cross disaster prevention, response and recovery efforts in Maine. “Because working smoke alarms can cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half, we urge you to test your smoke alarms and practice your escape plan with everyone in your household.”
Turn and test for fire safety. The threat of home fires – which are most often caused by cooking and heating equipment – increases with the holidays and cold weather. This weekend, please prepare your household by following the steps below. Daylight Saving Time ends at 2 a.m. Sunday. For more information, visit redcross.org/homefires or download the free Red Cross Emergency App (search “American Red Cross” in app stores).
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Place them inside and outside bedrooms, and sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms and replace batteries if needed. Test smoke alarms monthly, and change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it. It’s also a great time to check carbon monoxide alarms.
- Practice your home fire escape plan. Include at least two ways to get out of every room. 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. Practice your plan until everyone can escape in two minutes or less.
Home fire campaign saves 642 lives. For five years, the Red Cross has been working with partners to install free smoke alarms in high-risk communities and help families create escape plans through its Home Fire Campaign, which aims to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries. Since launching in October 2014, the campaign has saved at least 642 lives across the country – including 11 in Maine – by:
- Installing nearly 2 million free smoke alarms.
- Reaching more than 1.4 million children through youth preparedness programs.
- Making more than 805,000 households safer from the threat of home fires.
Request free smoke alarm installation. The Red Cross and its partners will install smoke alarms in your home, help you create an escape plan and provide other home fire safety tips – all for free! Sign up at SoundTheAlarm.org/Maine or call (207) 874-1192 and choose Option 3.