This weekend — when Daylight Saving Time ends and most Americans get an extra hour of sleep — serves as a good reminder for residents to test their smoke detectors, according to the American Red Cross Texoma.
“Home fires are our community’s most frequent disaster, and we ask everyone to ‘turn and test’ this weekend to help protect your family,” said Doug Crownson, executive director of American Red Cross Texoma “Just in the past year Red Cross volunteers responded to nearly 200 home fires in the Texoma area. You can help stay safe by testing your smoke alarms and practicing your escape plan with everyone in your household.”
Denton County Emergency Services District No. 1 Chief Mac Hohenberger recommends not just testing, but changing your smoke alarm batteries every time the time changes.
The threat of home fires — which are often caused by cooking and heating equipment — increases with the holidays and cold weather, according to the Red Cross. Hohenberger said working carbon monoxide alarms are especially important this time of year because of the use of heaters and fireplaces — both wood and gas.
As Daylight Saving Time ends, the Red Cross recommends following the steps below to prepare your household:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Place them inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms and replace batteries if needed. Test smoke alarms monthly and change the batteries. It’s also a great time to check carbon monoxide alarms.
- Practice your home fire escape plan. Include at least two ways to get out of every room. Select a meeting spot a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark on your block (tree, lightpost, mailboxes, etc.). Practice your plan until everyone can get out of the home in two minutes or less.
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