This Saturday when people "spring forward" by putting their clocks forward one hour to start Daylight Saving Time, the local American Red Cross is urging residents to check their smoke and fire alarms as well.
While Daylight Saving Time doesn't officially start until 2 a.m. Sunday, most people change their clocks before going to bed Saturday nnight. During "March is Red Cross Month," the American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties is urging families to check the batteries in their smoke alarms and to follow fire prevention tips.
"Northeast Ohio residents can take simple actions to reduce the risk of a home fire tragedy by installing and maintaining a smoke alarm on every level of their home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas," said Mike Taylor, spokesman for the American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties. "Smoke alarms provide us with a few minutes of advance warning in the event of a home fire and the extra time can save lives."
Additional recommendations include:
Check smoke alarms monthly by pushing the test button.
Change the batteries in alarms at least once a year. Install a new battery immediately if an alarm chirps, warning that the battery is low.
Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear it.
Never disable a smoke alarm.
The American Red Cross also recommends that families create and practice a home fire escape plan. Fire escape plans should include at least two escape routes for every room in the home.
For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information visit www.redcross.org/homefires.