By Staff Reports
Working Smoke Alarms Cut the Risk of Death from Fire in Half
The American Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters a year in this country and most of them are home fires. Tragically, experts agree that many of the deaths that result from home fires could have been prevented.
“Smoke alarms cut the risk of death from a home fire in half,” says Stella Kim, Red Cross Preparedness and Partnership Manager for Georgia. “You can help protect your family by installing and maintaining smoke alarms throughout your home and teaching your children what to do when they hear the beep.”
SIMPLE STEPS TO SAVE LIVES
According to Kim, people can reduce their family’s risk of being harmed in a home fire by taking two simple steps:
• Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Test the alarms monthly and replace the batteries at least once a year.
• Create a family home fire escape plan and practice it until every member of the family knows how to get out of every room. You should be able to exit the home in less than two minutes.
Over the past year (July 1, 2016 – June 30, 2017), Red Cross disaster volunteers responded to more than 3,500 home fires in Georgia and helped 6,300 families with their immediate emergency needs for lodging, food, health and emotional support and other essentials. Working with local community partners, Georgia’s Red Cross also installed 13,700 smoke alarms in vulnerable neighborhoods and made nearly 5,200 households safer with home fire safety education and resources.
RED CROSS APPS People can download the FREE. all-inclusive Red Cross Emergency app which combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep the user safe, including how to prevent, respond to and recover from home fires. There is also a special mobile app - Monster Guard - designed for kids, that teaches them to prepare for emergencies at home by playing an engaging game. Users can find the apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire. The Red Cross has been working to reduce that number through its Home Fire Campaign, a multi-year effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. Launched in October of 2014, the Red Cross and thousands of campaign partners have helped save numerous lives through the effort, as well as installing hundreds of thousands of smoke alarms in homes across the country.
WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO People can visit redcross.org/homefires to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire. They can become a Red Cross volunteer by visiting www.RedCross.org/Georgia. They can also help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.
About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.