Red Cross asks you to TEST your smoke alarms as you TURN your clocks back this weekend to help stay safe from home fires
Home fires take more lives every year than all other disasters combined
[NOV. 3, 2023] — Daylight saving time ends on November 5 and the American Red Cross encourages everyone to test their smoke alarms as they turn their clocks back to make sure the alarms are working.
“Home fires claim more lives every year than all natural disasters combined, but working smoke alarms can cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half,” said Jorge Martinez, CEO of the American Red Cross of Greater Pennsylvania. “The sooner an alarm alerts you to a fire, the sooner you can get out. When you turn your clocks back this weekend, test your smoke alarms too to help prevent a tragedy in your home.”
Over the past year, local Red Cross volunteers responded to help more than 6,100 people in Pennsylvania affected by more than 1,500 home fires. Home fires account for most of the 60,000 disasters the Red Cross responds to annually across the country.
SMOKE ALARMS When turning your clocks back this weekend, test your smoke alarms and replace the batteries if needed. Visit redcross.org/fire for more information, including an escape plan to create and practice with your family, or download the free Red Cross Emergency app by searching “American Red Cross” in app stores.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas.
- Replace smoke alarms that are 10 years 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 — the amount of time you may have to escape a burning home before it’s too late.
- 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.
IF YOU NEED HELP If you cannot afford to purchase smoke alarms or are physically unable to install one, the Red Cross may be able to help. Contact your local Red Cross for help.
HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN SAVE LIVES Since October 2014, the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, working with community partners, has saved at least 1,969 lives by educating families about fire safety, helping them create escape plans and installing free smoke alarms in high-risk areas across the country. To learn more about the campaign and how you can get involved, visit redcross.org/homefires.