The American Red Cross is reminding everyone that the beginning of Daylight Saving Time is a good time to check your smoke alarm batteries as well.
Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. on Sunday, March 11, and as you turn you "spring forward," it's also a good time to test that all the smoke alarms in your home are working.
"We have seen a steep rise in the number of home fires since the beginning of the year across the state. Having a working smoke alarm reduces the risk of death or injury in a home fire by half. We encourage everyone to take a few minutes while they are adjusting their clocks this weekend to replace your smoke alarm batteries and push the test button to make sure your alarms are working," said Joshua Joachim, regional chief executive for the Louisiana Red Cross.
The Red Cross suggests families take the following steps to make sure they're prepared for an emergency:
Install smoke alarms: At minimum, there should be one smoke alarm on every level of the home, one in each bedroom, and outside sleeping areas.
Practice an escape plan: Make sure everyone living in the home knows how to get out in less than two minutes.
Get a disaster kit: Keep disaster supplies in an easy to carry bag in case of evacuation.
Make a plan: All household members should know what steps to take in case of an emergency.
Be informed: Know what disasters can occur in your area and how officials inform the public should a disaster happen.
As of March 1, more than 1.1 million free smoke alarms have been installed across the country, resulting in 384 lives saved, including 11 in Louisiana. This is all thanks to the Home Fire Campaign. This spring, Red Cross is expanding its efforts to install another 1,000 smoke alarms in at-risk neighborhoods throughout Baton Rouge. Schedule is below:
Saturday, April 28
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Meet at the American Red Cross, 4655 Sherwood Common Blvd.
Saturday, May 5
9 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Meet at Ben Burge Park, 9350 Antigua Dr.
"This event is a huge undertaking and will require a great deal of support on behalf of our volunteers and community partners. If you are free to support these efforts on any of the days listed above, please contact your local Red Cross to learn how you can become involved and help us deliver this life-saving service to our community," said Joachim.