As daylight saving time ends, turn clocks back, test smoke alarms

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Daylight saving time ends this Sunday, and the American Red Cross is reminding everyone to test their smoke alarms when turning back their clocks.

As the fall season ushers in cold weather, it also increases the risk of deadly home fires. That’s because heating equipment is the second most common cause of fatalities from home fires – which, on average, take seven lives every day in the U.S., according to the National Fire Protection Association. But working smoke alarms can double a person’s odds of survival.

“The Red Cross wants everyone to stay safe this winter,” said Jeremie Ballinger, executive director, Greater Kansas City and Northwest Missouri Chapter. “This weekend, please take time to ‘turn and test’ to protect you and your family against the season’s life-threatening risk of home fires.”

Every eight minutes, the Red Cross responds to a disaster – most often, home fires. Here in Greater Kansas City and Northwest Missouri, the Greater Kansas City and Northwest Missouri Chapter responded to 538 local home fires last fiscal year.

This weekend, the Red Cross asks everyone to take these simple steps:

  • Check smoke alarm batteries. When turning the clocks back, take a few minutes to replace the smoke alarm batteries if needed and push the test button to make sure the alarms are working. It’s also a great time to check carbon monoxide detectors.
  • Install smoke alarms. If you don’t have working smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Check local building codes for additional requirements.
  • Practice an escape plan. Make sure everyone in the household knows two ways to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.

People can visit redcross.org/homefires to learn more about how to protect themselves and their loved ones, or visit www.redasmokealarm.org to sign up to have the Red Cross install free smoke alarms in their homes.

People can also help families in need by volunteering their time or making a donation to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org.

Information thanks to American Red Cross of Greater Kansas City.

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