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Home Fire Preparedness Campaign Stretches Across U.S.

  • Chase McGrath and Josh McLamb
    Chase McGrath and Josh McLamb, Salemberg, North Carolina firefighters, install and test fire alarms in a residence as part of the Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.
  • Red Cross volunteers and members of the Peoria Fire Department install smoke alarms.
    Red Cross volunteers and members of the Peoria Fire Department install smoke alarms.
A great way to save lives and help in the community...

The American Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign is rolling out across the country, aiming to reduce the number of deaths and injuries from home fires by installing smoke alarms in homes located in neighborhoods heavily affected by fires.

The campaign aims to reduce the number of deaths and injuries from home fires by as much as 25 percent over the next five years. Along with installing smoke alarms, the Red Cross is joining with fire departments and community groups nationwide to canvass neighborhoods and teach people all over the United States about fire safety.

Ready When the Time Comes Volunteers Lend a Hand

In Sampson County, North Carolina, the Red Cross worked with more than 100 state and county community partners and Red Cross Ready When the Time Comes (RWTC) volunteers to install as many as 1,000 smoke alarms and educate residents about fire safety.

The RWTC volunteers were from Murphy Brown, a livestock production company in the region that has been a long-standing Red Cross partner in supporting disaster relief. About 30 Murphy Brown employees took part in the fire safety canvassing for a very personal reason – one of their fellow employees lost their life in a recent home fire. There was a consensus among these volunteers that this campaign is “a great way to save lives and help in the community.”

Smoke Alarms Installed in Peoria

In Peoria, Illinois, the Red Cross partnered with the Peoria Fire Department and West Peoria Neighborhood Association to check and install smoke detectors in several neighborhoods. In only four hours, the group was able to visit 147 homes, install 38 smoke alarms and replace batteries in several more. The effort also included providing fire safety and tornado preparedness information to 54 households and helping 19 households develop their home fire escape plans.

One resident expressed her gratitude after the event by saying, “I just wanted to thank everyone involved, especially the wonderful volunteers who went door to door, helping with the “Smoke Alarms Save Lives!” program in our neighborhood today. What a wonderful idea and very practical way to help people. I, myself, appreciate the installation of alarms in my home, more than I can express. You have my utmost respect and gratitude.”

Take Two Simple Steps

As part of the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, the Red Cross is asking people to do two simple things that can help save lives – check their smoke alarms and develop an evacuation plan, practicing fire drills at home.

What Is RWTC?

Ready When the Time Comes® (RWTC) is a Red Cross corporate and community volunteer program designed to tap into corporate America’s expertise and the desire of community organizations to help people in need. The Red Cross trains employees from partnering organizations and mobilizes them as a community-based volunteer force.

The program allows organizations to give back to the community by acting as disaster-relief volunteers as well as supporting a diverse array of other Red Cross programs and services. Since its launch in 2000, RWTC has trained 14,000 volunteers from more than 460 businesses and organizations. For information about the program email

How You Can Help

You can help people affected by fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.