The most common disaster the American Red Cross responds to is single-family house fires—roughly 60,000 a year on average.
Many people who have gone through a fire later reach out to the Red Cross to share their story and express their appreciation, as Lorraine Reiter did.
Reiter and her daughter were out of town when her husband came home from work to find their St. Peters, Mo., home on fire. The Red Cross arrived and provided the family with counseling, food and vouchers for clothes.
“They just took care of everything,” Reiter said. “It was amazing. You just turn around and the Red Cross is there.”
Follow these steps to help prevent and prepare for a fire in your home:
If a fire does start in your home, follow your escape plan. Get out, stay out and call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
Visit www.redcross.org/homefires for additional fire safety tips.
Heat Your Home Safely
During the cold winter season, many people turn to space heaters and fireplaces for additional warmth. Unfortunately, the improper use of these heat sources increases the possibility of a fire in your home.
Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home.
Follow these additional tips to keep your home safe: