The Red Cross is asking people to check their smoke alarms when they turn their clocks ahead this weekend.
Red Cross officials say that since July 1, 2020, they have helped over 2500 families in the Missouri and Arkansas region with needs like emergency lodging, financial assistance, and recovery planning from over 2,000 different house fires.
“Home fire remain the nation’s most frequent disaster during COVID-19,” Chris Harmon, Regional Disaster Officer for the Missouri Arkansas Region, said in a statement. “This weekend, take a moment to test your smoke alarms to help protect your family against home fires.”
The Red Cross is asking you to “turn and test” your smoke alarms:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Test alarms monthly and replace the batteries at least once a year if your model requires it.
- Replace smoke alarms that are 10 years or older. That’s because the sensor becomes less sensitive over time. Check the date of your smoke alarms and follow the instructions.
- Practice your two-minute escape plan. Make sure everyone in your household can get out in less than two minutes — 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.
The Springfield Fire Department will provide your home with free smoke alarms if you do not have them and are unable to afford them.