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Red Cross Effort Aims to Reduce Home Fire Fatalities

Red Cross workers in Pasadena install a smoke alarm.
Campaign has already saved seven lives.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, 369 people have lost their lives in a fire in their home since the beginning of the year.

The American Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign is taking aim at this tragic statistic by working to reduce the number of deaths and injuries from home fires in this country by as much as 25 percent over the next five years.

Since the campaign launched this past October, seven lives have already been saved. Working with fire departments and community groups nationwide, hundreds of Red Cross employees and volunteers in all 50 states and Puerto Rico have installed thousands of smoke alarms in communities across the country.

The effort involves educating people about fire safety through door-to-door canvassing in high-risk fire neighborhoods and installation of smoke alarms in some of these neighborhoods. In tandem with the canvassing efforts, the Red Cross also is asking every household in America to take the two simple steps that can save lives – check existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home.

Since October, the campaign effort has achieved:

  • Installation of more than 34,000 smoke alarms
  • Replacement of nearly 6,000 batteries in smoke alarms
  • Service to more than 56,000 people
  • Helping develop more than 15,000 household fire escape plans
  • NATIONWIDE EFFORT Recently, volunteers in northwest Pasadena, California, installed 222 smoke alarms to help nearly 300 residents sleep easier. Red Cross volunteers and the Martin County Fire Rescue installed 72 smoke alarms in the Ridgeway Mobile Home Park in Hobe Sound, Florida.

    In Dubuque, Iowa, Red Cross volunteers and Dubuque firefighters installed 153 smoke alarms in the Sheridan Village apartment complex. In Canovoanas, Puerto Rico, the Red Cross installed almost 100 smoke alarms during a recent campaign event.

    #GIVEWHATFIRETAKES To support home fire survivors across the country, the Red Cross launched a new social media campaign this month called #GiveWhatFireTakes, in conjunction with the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign. You can help by taking part in the #GiveWhatFireTakes campaign and making a donation that could support families after a home fire and other disasters.


    SET GOALS AND FUNDRAISE WITH CROWDRISE Whether you form a team or fundraise as an individual, Crowdrise puts you on the front lines of fundraising for home fire prevention and recovery. We even helped provide easy goals to help fundraise through your networks.

    CHOOSE YOUR OWN AMOUNT A new donation page on allows you to choose a support amount based on how much you can give. Donation levels represent a range of items that the Red Cross typically provides after a fire.

    Visit our Crowdrise campaign page, make a direct donation on and share what moved you to join the campaign on social media with #GiveWhatFireTakes.

    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.