American Red Cross volunteers responded in bitter cold this morning to a home fire in Thornton that displaced a family of five. It was the sixth Red Cross home fire response in Colorado since Christmas Eve – and unfortunately, that’s not unusual.
This year the Red Cross of Colorado helped more people affected by home fires than all other disasters combined. So far in 2014, local volunteers have responded at all hours of the day with food, blankets and comfort to help more than 1,400 people with nowhere else to turn after home fires.
From Jan.1, 2014 through this morning, the Red Cross provided financial support to 422 households after home fires to help replace lost belongings and begin the long road to recovery. That number averages out to well over one home fire per day in Colorado in 2014. Nationally, the Red Cross responds to a disaster in the community every 8 minutes and the vast majority of these are home fires.
“While wildfires, floods and hurricanes tend to dominate the headlines, people often underestimate the frequency and devastation caused by home fires, and that’s where the Red Cross comes in,” said Gino Greco, CEO of the American Red Cross of Colorado. “Our work doesn’t end after the smoke clears, every day local volunteers are helping people to recover and get better prepared.”
Curbing Deaths and Injuries from Home Fires
Because of the high number of home fires in this country, the Red Cross launched a campaign this year to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent over the next five years. The organization is asking every household in America to take two simple steps: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home.
Since the campaign launched in October, the Red Cross—in partnership with fire departments and community groups nationwide—has already reached more than 29,000 people by installing 17,000 smoke alarms. These efforts have already saved five lives nationwide. In Colorado, we’ve reached 621 people by installing 372 smoke alarms.
Our work is made possible by the generosity of the American public. You can help people affected by disasters big and small by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables us to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters. You can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your donation helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters