Don’t forget to “fall back,” check smoke detector batteries Saturday night

by | November 2, 2019 5:00 am

Last Updated: November 1, 2019 at 8:54 am

Daylight saving time ends this Sunday, and the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross urges everyone to test their smoke alarms when turning back their clocks.

As the fall season ushers in cold weather, it also increases the risk of deadly home fires. That’s because heating equipment is the second most common cause of fatalities from home fires—which, on average, take seven lives every day in the U.S., according to the National Fire Protection Association. But working smoke alarms can double a person’s odds of survival.

In South Carolina, disaster-trained volunteers respond to an average of six home fires a day. That’s as many as one house fire every four hours. Last year, the Red Cross provided financial assistance to nearly 7,000 South Carolinians after a local disaster, such as a home fire.

This weekend, the Red Cross asks everyone to take these simple steps:

  • Check smoke alarm batteries. When turning the clocks back, take a few minutes to replace the smoke alarm batteries if needed 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 you don’t have working 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 household knows two ways to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.


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