FARGO (Gretchen Hjelmstad) – Daylight Saving Time is this weekend and the American Red Cross reminds everyone to TEST the batteries in their smoke alarms as they TURN their clocks ahead an hour.
“It’s important for everyone to make sure their household is ready,” said Lynn Speral, CEO of the American Red Cross Dakotas Region. “A disaster like a home fire can happen anywhere, at any time. We urge people to take these steps now and know what they should do if an emergency occurs.”
- Check smoke alarm batteries. Test smoke alarms once a month. Change the batteries at least once a year – if your model requires it. Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms.
- Install smoke alarms. If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, they can make a request at getasmokealarm.org and a Red Cross representative will be in contact to schedule free installation.
- 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.
HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire. The Red Cross has been working to reduce that number through its Home Fire Campaign, a multi-year effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. Launched in October of 2014, the Red Cross and thousands of partners have helped save many lives through the effort, as well as installing 1.1 million smoke alarms in homes all across the country. Here in the Dakotas Region, the Red Cross has installed more than 10,000 smoke alarms.
WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO People can become a Red Cross volunteer by contacting the local chapter at 701-364-1800. They can also 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.