The American Red Cross has been busy all across the country helping people whose homes have been destroyed by fire.
In San Antonio, Texas, the Red Cross responded when fire destroyed a 36-unit apartment building and damaged other buildings, affecting 66 units in all. In Syracuse, New York, the Red Cross is helping dozens of victims after 11 fires in the area in just four days. In Pasadena, California, Red Cross workers are providing shelter and meals after an apartment complex fire there. In Shenandoah, Pennsylvania, Red Cross workers helped those affected after a fire destroyed nine homes in the borough.
Home fires are the biggest disaster threat to people in this country – worse than blizzards, floods, hurricanes and tornadoes. Every day, the Red Cross responds to as many as 170 home fires – that’s one fire every nine minutes.
STEPS TO AVOID A FIRE IN YOUR HOME During cold weather, the number of home fires often rises as people turn up their thermostats to stay warm or resort to using alternate heating methods to cut down on costs. The Red Cross offers the following safety tips on how to prevent fires:
Smoke alarms save lives. People should:
Planning for fire emergencies is important. Make sure all household members know two ways to escape from every room of the home, and set up a meeting place outside in case of fire. Practice escaping from the home at least twice a year and at different times of the day. Teach household members to stop, drop and roll if their clothing should catch on fire.
More information on what steps you can take to avoid a fire in your home or stay safe during other emergencies is available on this website.