Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Red Cross Home Fire Campaign Helps Save Lives. And You Can Too

By Clarice Nassif Ransom, Volunteer

Home fires. They cause injuries, death, destruction of property, disruption of lives, and make up the majority of the 66,000 annual responses to disasters nationwide by the American Red Cross.

The Home Fire Campaign, launched by the American Red Cross in 2014, is a multi-year nationwide effort to reduce home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent – and it is working. Throughout the year, groups of volunteers install smoke alarms and deliver fire safety information in neighborhoods that are at high-risk for fires with our local partners. Since the start of the campaign, the American Red Cross and its partners have helped save at least 131 lives and installed more than 619,000 smoke alarms in 8,400 cities and towns nationwide, according to a January 11th news release.

“Locally, we responded to about 500 home fires and disasters in 2016,” said Linda Mathes, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross in the National Capital Region, in that same news release. “These home fires are devastating for the people involved and are also responsible for a number of deaths and injuries. That is why our Home Fire Campaign is so important. We want to help save lives by installing smoke alarms in homes that don’t have them and educating people about home fire safety.”

The most effective ways to protect yourself and your home from fires are:
  • Identify and remove fire hazards
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, test them monthly, and replace batteries annually
  • Practice a fire escape drill twice a year and ensure all members of the household are included
  • Download and print a list of fire prevention and safety tips

What else can you do?

Get involved by volunteering for an upcoming Home Fire Campaign – there is always room for volunteers and no experience necessary.

You can also consider making a donation by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999.

The Home Fire Campaign is made possible by corporate sponsors who contribute financially and by donating smoke detectors as well as the hundreds of the American Red Cross’ local partner organizations, fire departments, and volunteers.

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