Remember to ‘fall back,’ check smoke alarms with daylight saving time 2022 this weekend

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Daylight saving time goes into effect Sunday, Nov. 6, so get your clocks turned back this weekend and prepare for earlier light in the day and earlier darkness at the end of the day.

It’s also a good time to check your smoke detector batteries. That’s the recommendation of the American Red Cross.

“Home fires claim more lives in a typical year than all natural disasters combined, but working smoke alarms can cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half,” Chris Harmon, regional disaster officer for the Missouri Arkansas Region, stated in a news release. “The sooner an alarm alerts you to a fire, the sooner you can get out. When you turn your clocks back this weekend, also test your smoke alarms to help prevent a tragedy in your home.”

At 2 a.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, clocks fall back one hour as daylight saving time ends, providing us with an extra hour to think about fire safety.

“Having working smoke alarms in your home is one of the simplest and most important steps you can take to
increase your family’s safety,” State Fire Marshal Bean stated in a news release. “Installing and maintaining smoke alarms can reduce your chances of dying in fire by 50 percent. The majority of home fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke alarms. Smoke alarms give you extra time to get out, and today’s homes burn faster and hotter than structures built decades ago. This is why we ask Missourians to test their smoke alarms and change the batteries when they move their clocks back each fall.”

Bean recommends the following steps to ensure fire safety:

Smoke alarms – All alarms should be tested monthly; press the test button to be sure the alarms are working. Replace all smoke alarms once they’re 10 years old. Smoke alarms should be installed in every sleeping room and on every level of the home.

Close doors – Closing doors in your home, when you sleep and when you leave the house slows the spread of fire and heat by cutting the oxygen that feeds a fire. Simply closing the doors to rooms in your house can also dramatically reduce the amount of damage a structure will sustain in a fire.

Plan your escape – Each member of the household should know two ways out of each room. Make sure escape routes are clear of debris and windows open easily. Designate an outdoor meeting place for the family. Regularly practice escape routes will all members of the family.

Extension cord safety – Never substitute extension cords for permanent wiring or use them for more than one appliance. Make sure extension cords or power strips are rated for the product to be plugged in. Never cover an extension cord with a rug or carpet; it prevents heat from escaping. Multi-plug devices and power strips are designed to be plugged directly into electrical outlets; they should never be chained together.

Space heater safety – Space heaters are a factor in about 43 percent of home heating-related fires and 85 percent of associated deaths. They should only be placed on the floor. Never leave a space heater on when you leave a room. Only plug space heaters directly into wall outlets. Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from all heating equipment, including drapes, furniture and electronics.

Visit redcross.org/fire for more information, including an escape plan to create and practice with your family, or download the free Red Cross Emergency app by searching “American Red Cross” in app stores.