ROCHESTER, Minn. – The American Red Cross is urging people to not just turn back their clocks this weekend, but also check their smoke alarms.
It said the colder weather this time of year increases the risk of deadly home fires, which takes seven lives daily according to the National Fire Protection Association.
To protect against this, the Red Cross encourages everyone to check smoke alarm batteries, install smoke alarms, and create a home fire escape plan.
It’s all part of the organization’s Home Fire Campaign, which started in 2014. Since the campaign started, the Red Cross has installed 1.4 million smoke alarms, replaced more than 68,000 smoke alarm batteries, and helped more than 521,000 families create escape plans.
Katie Jirik is a mom in the Rochester area and said she thinks of the weekend more as a smoke alarm test than a clock change.
"It is a good reminder, you know twice a year, maintenance type of thing, that's kind of what I use it for," she said. "If people don't have smoke alarms and aren't prepared those are the people that have accidents and injuries in their homes."
Her family also has an escape plan.
The Red Cross said families should have two ways to get out of every room in a house and should be able to get out in less than two minutes.
It also said the weekend is a good time to check carbon monoxide detectors.
If people want to learn more on how to protect against home fires or create an escape plan, they can contact their local Red Cross.
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