This month, the American Red Cross – Alabama Region has responded to a total of 181 single family and multifamily fires across the state. Out of those fires, 18 fatalities have occurred. Red Cross has provided comfort kits, financial assistance, general aid and temporary shelter for families of the victims and those who have been displaced.
Red Cross research shows, most people believe they have five to ten minutes to escape from a fire in their home. This false sense of security could be deadly as fire experts agree people may only have as long as two minutes to get out of a burning home before it is too late. Smoke alarms cut the risk of death from a fire in half. Surveys conducted as part of the nationwide Red Cross revealed the misconceptions about safety people have about home fires. The campaign is a multi-year effort by the Red Cross to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent.
Communities and local fire departments are stepping up to raise awareness. This Saturday, January 30, 2016, from 8:30 am to 12:30 pm, the Red Cross will partner with the Adamsville Fire Department, located at 4915 Railroad Road, Adamsville, for a door to door smoke alarm installation event. Red Cross volunteers, staff and Adamsville Fire Department crews will go door to door canvassing the neighborhood and installing free smoke alarms in homes.
The Red Cross asks every household to be proactive in keeping their families safe. Take two simple steps that can save lives: check your existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. “It has been proven that many people are misinformed when it comes to home fire safety,” said Alicia Anger, Regional Director of Communications, Alabama Region. “Seven times a day, someone on this country dies in a house fire. Alabama is in the top rankings for fire deaths nationwide.”
On average, 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day. Over seven billion dollars in property damage also occurs every year due to home fires. “We know smoke alarms cut the risk of death from a fire in half and that is why the Red Cross is working with local fire departments and community groups across the country to install smoke alarms,” said Anger. “In a typical year, home fires kill more people than all other natural disasters combined in the United States.”
Follow these steps for safety:
· Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
· Check monthly that smoke alarms are working properly by pushing the test button.
· Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year.
· Replace smoke alarms every ten years.
People can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief to support disasters big and small by visiting redcross.org/Alabama or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation's blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.