The American Red Cross Texas Gulf Coast region and its partners have launched an initiative that aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25% in five years with the Home Fire Campaign.
The biggest disaster threat in in the Texas Gulf Coast isn’t floods and hurricanes-it’s fires.
The American Red Cross Texas Gulf Coast Region responds to nearly 58,341 disasters in a single year. However, the most common disaster response for the Red Cross is home fires. On average, we respond to a home fire every three days. Home fires can happen quickly, devastating lives and property. But unlike other disasters, most home fires can be prevented in two simple steps:
Practice fire drills at home.
Use this Home Fire Escape Plan worksheet to plan your evacuation and practice it at least twice a year as a family.
Test your smoke alarms monthly.
Make sure you and your family are alerted as soon as a fire is detected. If the smoke alarm isn’t working, change the batteries.
- Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food.
- Keep anything that can catch fire-like pot holders, towels, plastic and clothing away from the stove.
- Keep pets off cooking surfaces and countertops to prevent them from knocking thing onto the burner.
- Keep a pan lid or a cookie sheet nearby.
- Learn the fire safety features of the building, including fire alarms, sprinklers and evacuation plans.
- Make sure all exits are clearly marked and not blocked.
- Know the locations of all available exit stairwells on the floor.
- Identify a meeting place outside and away from the building.
- Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of your home and outside sleeping areas.
- Have heating systems inspected and serviced annually, checking for blockages, corrosion, and partial or completed disconnections.
- Never use a generator, grill, or camp stove inside a home, garage or basement.
- Know the symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning: headache, dizziness, weakness, nausea, vomiting, sleepiness, and confusion.
- Never use a stove or oven to heat your home.
- If using a space heater, place it on a level, hard surface and keep anything flammable at least three feet away.
- Don’t hook a generator up to the home’s wiring. People should connect the equipment they need to power directly to the outlets on the generator.
- Keep the refrigerator and freezer doors closed as much as possible.
- Develop and practice your home fire escape plan with your children at least twice a year.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Familiarize children with the sound of your smoke alarm and teach them what to do when they hear it.
- Keep matches lighters and other ignitable substances in a secured location out of the reach of children.
Through our emergency preparedness app for children called “Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies.” Which is a free app that provides 7- to 11- year-olds with a fund, gaming environment to learn how to prevent emergencies, like home fires, and what to do if severe weather or natural disaster occur. The app provides an interactive and exciting way for children to learn, practice the lesson and share the information with family and friends.
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The Pillowcase Project is a preparedness education program for children in grades 3 – 5, which teaches student about personal and family preparedness, local hazards and basic coping skills. Learn More.