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Daylight Saving Time: Turn your clocks ahead, test your smoke alarms


Red Cross: Working smoke alarms reduce the risk of home fire death by half 


It’s time to turn your clocks forward one hour when daylight saving time starts this Sunday, March 8.

When you TURN your clocks forward, also TEST your smoke alarms.

It’s also a good time to take these lifesaving steps to prepare for home fires, the nation’s most frequent disaster:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half. Place them inside and outside bedrooms, and sleeping areas.
  • Test smoke alarms and replace batteries if needed. Test them monthly and change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it. Also check the manufacturer’s date of your smoke alarms. If they’re 10 years or older, they likely need to be replaced because the sensor becomes less sensitive over time. Follow your alarm’s manufacturer instructions.
  • Practice your home fire escape plan in two minutes or less. Include at least two ways to get out of every room. 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 knows where to meet. Practice your plan until everyone can escape in two minutes or less — the amount of time that fire experts say you have to get out of a burning home before it’s too late.



Each year, the Red Cross responds to more than 60,000 disasters —  the vast majority of which are home fires. Every day, seven people die in home fires, and most tragedies occur in homes without working smoke alarms. That’s why the Red Cross launched the Home Fire Campaign with community partners in 2014 to reduce needless deaths and injuries.


So far, the Home Fire Campaign has reached more than 2.2 million people and is credited with saving at least 715 lives across the country, including those of 11 Mainers. The campaign’s volunteers and partners have also:

  • Installed more than 2 million free smoke alarms.
  • Reached more than 1.5 million children through youth preparedness programs.
  • Made more than 864,000 households safer from the threat of home fires.

Visit for more information and free resources to help you protect you and your loved ones.


The Red Cross depends on generous support to fulfill its humanitarian mission. If you would like to support our lifesaving work, please consider volunteering or making a donation today by visiting


About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit, on Facebook @MaineRedCross, Twitter @ARC_Maine and Instagram @maineredcross.


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