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Ensuring smoke alarms in homes are functioning can cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half. 

The American Red Cross Southwest Chapter recommends testing smoke alarms in the spring and fall when the time changes through the Turn and Test campaign.

Daylight saving time begins Sunday and the American Red Cross Southwest Chapter reminds everyone to TURN your clocks forward one hour and TEST your smoke alarms to help stay safe from home fires- the nation’s most frequent disaster. 

Other safety steps include:

  • Installing 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.
  • Replacing 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 manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Practicing 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 get out of 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 a landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone knows where to meet.
  • Teaching children what a smoke alarm sounds like. Talk about fire safety and what to do in an emergency.

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