Daylight savings time was this weekend. Did you test your Smoke Alarms?

Published 1:07 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2020

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When you change your clocks, you should also test your smoke alarms.


It’s also a good time to take these lifesaving steps to prepare for home fires, the nation’s most frequent disaster:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half. Place them inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas.
  • Test smoke alarms and replace batteries if needed. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it. Also check the manufacturer’s date of your smoke alarms. If they’re 10 years or older, they likely need to be replaced because the sensor becomes less sensitive over time. Follow your alarm’s manufacturer instructions.
  • Practice your home fire escape plan in two minutes or less. Include at least two ways to get out from 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 knows where to meet. Practice your planuntil everyone can escape in two minutes or less — the amount of time that fire experts say you have to get out of a burning home before it’s too late.

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Each year, the Red Cross responds to more than 60,000 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 2.2 million people and is credited with saving at least 715 lives across the country. The campaign’s volunteers and partners have also:

  • Installed more than 2 million free smoke alarms.
  • Reached more than 1.5 million children through youth preparedness programs.
  • Made more than 864,000 households safer from the threat of home fires.

Visit for more information and free resources to help you protect you and your loved ones.

Submitted by Caroline Fountain