Red Cross Reminder: Check Smoke Alarms when Turning Clocks Back

NORTH CHARLESTON, SC, October 30, 2015 – Daylight Saving Time ends this weekend and when everyone turns their clocks back, the American Red Cross reminds them to also take these steps to make sure their household is prepared for emergencies.

“It’s important for everyone in the family to know what to do should a fire start in your home,” said Louise Welch Williams, regional chief executive officer for the American Red Cross, Palmetto SC Region. “A disaster like a home fire can happen anywhere, at any time. We urge people to take steps now and know what they should do if an emergency occurs.”

•    Check smoke alarm batteries. When turning the clocks ahead, take a few minutes to replace the smoke alarm batteries 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 someone doesn’t have 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 family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.
•    Get a kit. Keep disaster supplies in an easy-to-carry bag to use at home or carry in case ordered to evacuate.
•    Make a plan. Have all household members plan what steps they should take if an emergency occurs.
•    Be informed. Learn what emergencies can occur in the area and how officials notify residents should a disaster occur.

South Carolina consistently ranks within the top ten states for home fire deaths per capita and the Red Cross assists more than 7,100 people a year, 2,000 of them children, after home fires.

The American Red Cross and its partners, including the South Carolina Office of State Fire Marshal, the South Carolina Firefighters Association, and local fire departments, are working together to save lives, reduce injuries, and preserve property. Together, they are keeping families safe across South Carolina by installing smoke alarms and teaching people how to lessen their chances of suffering from a home fire.  Find the location of smoke alarm installation events or become a volunteer at http://www.redcross.org/SC.

People can visit redcross.org/SC to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire.

Help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. We respond to nearly 70,000 other disasters every year, from home fires to wildfires and more. Learn more about how Disaster Relief donations have helped people affected by previous disasters including home fires.

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