SALT LAKE CITY — As Utahns prepare to set back their clocks this weekend for daylight saving time, Red Cross is reminding people to “turn and test” by checking home smoke alarms and replacing batteries as needed.

According to the Red Cross, seven people in the U.S. lose their lives to home fires every day.

“Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are the first line of defense against a home fire,” Jeremiah Lafranca, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Utah Greater Salt Lake Chapter said. “The sooner you hear the smoke alarm, the sooner you can escape safely from your house. That is why it is so important when you turn your clocks back on Sunday, you also test your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors.”

As you turn your clock back on Nov. 6, Red Cross says it’s a good time to check up on your home alarms. This small action once or twice a year could be the key to saving your life in a potential disaster.

“Since the start of the year, the Red Cross of Utah staff and volunteers have responded to more than 160 home fires and assisted more than 630 people in need,” Lafranca said. “Home fires, the nation’s most frequent disaster, account for most of the more than 60,000 disasters that the Red Cross responds to nationwide each year,” he said.

Here are some other helpful fire prevention tips:

  •  Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas.
  • Replace smoke alarms that are 10 years or older. Components such as sensors can become less sensitive over time. Follow your alarm’s manufacturer instructions.
  • Practice your two-minute home fire escape plan. Make sure everyone in your household can get out in less than two minutes — the amount of time you may have to safely escape a burning
  • Include at least two ways to get out of every room and select a meeting spot for everyone at a
    safe distance from your home. (Neighbor’s home, specific tree, or another safe place)

If you can’t afford to buy smoke alarms or are physically unable to install one, the Red Cross of Utah may be able to help. Any resident interested in fire prevention assistance can visit to schedule an appointment for a free smoke alarm installation.