DES MOINES — As people turned their clocks back this weekend for the end of daylight saving time, the American Red Cross asks 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.
During a fire, early warning from a working smoke alarm plus a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives. As the clocks “fell back” when daylight saving time ended on Sunday, Nov. 7, it’s also the perfect time to test your smoke alarms and replace the batteries if needed.
In addition to testing your smoke alarms, follow these three steps get your home ready:
* Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas.
* Replace smoke alarms that are 10 years or older. Components such as sensors can become less sensitive over time. Follow your alarm’s manufacturer instructions.
* Practice your two-minute home fire escape plan. Make sure everyone in your household can get out in less than two minutes — that’s the amount of time you may have to escape a burning home before it’s too late. 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 landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone can meet.