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Red Cross Home Fire Campaign Underway

  • Key Findings
  • Home Fire Safety
    Red Cross workers joined with the Nevada, Iowa Public Safety Department and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints recently to visit more than 300 homes to inspect existing smoke alarms and install new alarms. Photo by Steve Pope/AP for Red Cross
  • Mapping Out Your Escape Plan - Single Family Home
  • Mapping Out Your Escape Plan - Multi-Family Dwelling
  • Mapping Out Your Escape Plan - High-Rise Apartment Complex
People mistakenly believe they have more time than they really do to escape a burning home.

The American Red Cross is working across the country 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.

KNOCKING ON DOORS In Nevada, Iowa, the Red Cross joined with the local fire department, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and other community partners to go door-to-door in neighborhoods at high risk for fires. Fifteen teams knocked on more than 300 doors, installing new smoke alarms, testing existing alarms, putting in new alarm batteries and talking about developing fire escape plans.

HOME FIRES BIGGEST THREAT In Fargo, North Dakota, 90 percent of the 410 disaster responses last year were to home fires. Red Cross workers joined the Fargo Fire Department and Fargo Cass Public Health to canvass some neighborhoods and make sure about 600 homes had working smoke alarms. Firefighters checked existing alarms and installed smoke alarms where necessary. People were reminded to double check their homes and emergency plans as the colder weather moves into the area.

700 FIRES IN SOUTHERN MISSOURI The Southern Missouri Region of the Red Cross responded to more than 700 fires in 2013, helping more than 2,900 people affected. Red Cross workers will be going door-to-door over the next few days in Springfield area neighborhoods to help families make sure their smoke alarms are working and help them create a fire escape plan.

SMOKE ALARMS SAVE LIVES In Clarksville, Tennessee, almost half of the fires that cause injury or death are in homes where there is no working smoke alarm. Red Cross workers will be canvassing parts of the city this weekend to give out smoke alarms and even install them in homes that need them.

IMPORTANT TO BE PREPARED In the central New York area, smoke alarms are missing in two-thirds of fires where a fatality occurs. The Red Cross will be out this weekend in Cortland to distribute smoke detectors and talk to people about the importance of being prepared. The area sees a home fire occur about every two days on average.

PIZZA AND PROTECTION In Greenville, South Carolina, firefighters are working with the Red Cross to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires. They will be delivering pizza through the local Domino’s Pizza on Monday, checking customers smoke alarms while at the home. If the alarms are okay, the pizza is free. If not, the firefighters will provide smoke alarms to the household.

DON’T KNOW AS MUCH AS WE THINK The Red Cross fire prevention campaign comes at a time when a new national survey shows many Americans have a false sense of security about surviving a fire.

The survey, conducted for the Red Cross, shows that people mistakenly believe they have more time than they really do to escape a burning home. Fire experts agree that people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home. But most Americans (62 percent) mistakenly believe they have at least five minutes to escape, more than twice the amount they actually have.

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.

The national public opinion survey was conducted for the Red Cross July 17-20, 2014 using ORC International’s Online CARAVAN omnibus survey. The study was conducted among a national sample of 1,130 American adults, including 311 parents of children aged 3-17. The total sample is balanced to be representative of the US adult population in terms of age, sex, geographic region, race and education. The margin of error for the total sample of 1,130 adults is +/- 2.92 percent. The margin of error for the sample of 311 parents is +/- 5.56 percent.

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.