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Fire Safety

Free smoke alarm installation events held throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington in October; Large-scale installation event to be held in January.

PORTLAND, Ore., October 12, 2016 -- Now through October 15 is National Home Fire Prevention Week and the American Red Cross is urging every household to take simple steps to help prevent home fires and ultimately save lives. Home fire is the single greatest disaster threat to homes and families and an average of seven people across the nation die every day due to home fires.

"Smoke alarms save lives. A working smoke alarm can double a person's chance of surviving a home fire," said Amy Shlossman, CEO of the Red Cross Cascades Region. "National Fire Prevention Week provides an important reminder to ensure your home has working smoke alarms, and to develop and practice a fire escape plan."

In partnership with the Oregon State Fire Marshall and other local fire departments, the Red Cross is installing free smoke alarms in neighborhoods at the highest risk for home fire and helping to educate the public on how best to prevent and prepare for home fires.

To sign up to have free smoke alarms installed in your home, call 503-528-5783 (Portland-metro) area, 541-749-4144 (Southern and Central Oregon) or 360-768-3129 (Southwest Washington) or visit to schedule an appointment.

* Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
* Test smoke alarms once a month.
* Change the batteries at least once a year -- if your model requires it.
* Replace smoke alarms every ten years.

MAKE A PLAN: People may only have two minutes to escape when a fire occurs. The Red Cross recommends that households develop a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year. Everyone should know two ways to escape from every room and designate a safe place to meet outside the home in case of a fire. Discuss the plan with all household members and practice it until everyone -- including children -- can escape in less than two minutes

JOIN THE RED CROSS HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN: The multi-year Home Fire Campaign kicked off in October of 2014 with a goal to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent in five years. The local Red Cross in Oregon and Southwest Washington (Cascades Region) has installed more than 9,000 smoke alarms in our region and is on track to install a total of 10,000 smoke alarms by the end of 2016.

Two local Home Fire Campaign events will be held in October in the following cities:
* October 22, 9 a.m. -- 4 p.m., Eugene, OR
* October 29, 8:30 a.m. -- 4 p.m., Portland, OR

To sign up to have free smoke alarms installed in your home, call 503-528-5783 (Portland-metro) area or 541-749-4144 (Southern and Central Oregon) or visit to schedule an appointment.

In 2017, as part of our Red Cross Cascades Region Centennial Celebration, we will be organizing a massive smoke alarm installation event on January 14 in honor of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day with the goal of installing 1,000 smoke alarms in a single day. More than 200 volunteers are needed to help with this lifesaving event. To register to volunteer for our MLK Home Fire Campaign, email

The national Home Fire Campaign is made possible through the generosity of hundreds of local partner organizations and volunteers. As of August 31, the Red Cross and 3,600 partners have reached more than 591,000 people through home visits in 7,300 cities and towns all across the country. The Red Cross has also reached more than 581,000 youth through fire safety and preparedness programs.

HOW TO HELP: Join the Red Cross effort to save lives, reduce injuries and cut down on needless losses from home fires by making a financial donation by visiting or calling 1-800 RED CROSS. A gift to Home Fires enables the Red Cross to provide critical services to people impacted by home fires along with the lifesaving tools and information to support prevention efforts.

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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossCasc.