Sunday, March 10: Turn and Test!

By: Samantha Antenucci

Ever wish you could speed up time? Sunday, Daylight Saving Time, is your big chance. But here’s the important part: You’ll also be hearing reminders to check your smoke detector batteries. Pay attention!

Smoke alarms do truly save lives, and the beauty of these simple devices is that they require very little care and feeding. Simply gather the family, grab a step stool (or a stick), and push the test button. If you hear no sound, replace the battery. Simple!

Now take a look around your home. Do you have enough smoke detectors installed? You should have one on every level of your home (including the basement) and inside/outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Your local fire department or Red Cross chapter can give guidance on placement, and the Red Cross can even provide them at no cost to you. This simple preventive measure goes a long way in safeguarding you and your loved ones. Remember, a smoke alarm gives your family a window of opportunity to escape after a fire has started.   

While you’ve got the kids’ attention, ask them how they’d escape if they heard the alarm go off in the night. If you’re getting blank stares, it’s time to talk about escape plans. This dialogue is critically important to have before the unforeseen occurs. Each person in your household should be able to evacuate in under two minutes, and also know two ways to exit every room.  Have that talk.

The Red Cross is responds to a disaster every eight minutes, and home fires are the most common type by far. With over 1,000 fires last year, Disaster Action Teams provided emergency assistance to more than 5,000 residents in eastern Pennsylvania. So as part of your Daylight Saving Time routine, remember this new Red Cross prompt: “Turn and Test.” Turn your clocks back. Test your smoke alarms.  

Celebrate Daylight Saving Time by visiting redcross.org/homefires. There you’ll find amazing tools and resources to learn about fire prevention and keep your loved ones safe. 

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