Daylight saving time begins this Sunday, March 13, and the American Red Cross of New Mexico reminds everyone to turn your clocks forward one hour and test your smoke alarms.
According to American Red Cross of New Mexico, smoke alarms can cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half. That’s why it’s critical to “turn and test” and take these lifesaving steps to stay safe from home fires — the nation’s most frequent disaster:
- 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 manufacturer’s 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 get out of a burning home before it’s too late. Include at least two ways to get out from 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 knows where to meet.
- Teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like. Talk about fire safety and what to do in an emergency.
“As many as seven people die in this country every day from a home fire, but smoke alarms cut your risk in half,” said Kathy Segura, executive director, American Red Cross of New Mexico
Visit redcross.org/fire for more information, including an escape plan to practice with your family. You can also download the free emergency app by searching for “American Red Cross” in app stores.
The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.