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American Red Cross encouraging Idahoans to check their smoke alarms on Sunday

As residents begin turning their clocks forward for daylight saving time, The Red Cross of Greater Idaho is encouraging Idahoans to test their smoke alarms.

BOISE, Idaho — The Red Cross of Greater Idaho is encouraging Idahoans to test their smoke alarms this Sunday, as residents will begin turning their clocks forward for daylight saving time.

Idaho Red Cross volunteers have responded to nearly 90 people with urgent needs, such as emergency lodging, financial assistance and recovery planning after 29 disasters, many of which were house fires. 

"Home fires remain the nation's most frequent disaster during COVID-19," said Nicole Sirak Irwin, regional CEO of the Red Cross of Idaho and Montana. "This weekend, take a moment to test your smoke alarms to help protect your family against home fires."

Volunteers are encouraging Idahoans to "Turn and Test" the smoke alarms in their residence. Working smoke alarms can cut the risk of death due to a house fire in half.

Here's how to conduct the test:

  • 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 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 escape 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 landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone can meet.

For more information, visit the American Red Cross website.

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