ROGERS, Ark. (KNWA/KFTA) — As people turn their clocks back this weekend for the end of daylight saving time, the American Red Cross wants everyone to also test their smoke alarms.
Home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster and tragically take seven lives every day in this country, according to a release from the Red Cross.
“It’s critical to take action now to be as safe as possible as the threat of home fires increases with the holidays and cooler weather,” said Chris Harmon, Regional Disaster Officer for the Missouri-Arkansas Region. “Just in July and August, Red Cross volunteers in our region responded to over 560 home fires. The good news is that you can take a few simple steps this weekend to help protect your loved ones.”
During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives, according to the Red Cross.
In addition to testing smoke alarms this week, the Red Cross suggests taking the following steps:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas.
- Replace smoke alarms that are 10 years old or older. Components such as sensors can become less sensitive over time. Follow your alarm’s manufacturer instructions.
- Practice a two-minute home fire escape plan. Make sure everyone in your household can get out in less than two minutes. 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 a landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone can meet.
For more information, including safety tips and free resources, visit redcross.org/homefires or download the free Red Cross Emergency app by searching for “American Red Cross” in app stores.