ATLANTA, September 28, 2015 — In just one year, the American Red Cross’ nationwide Home Fire Campaign is credited with saving at least 26 lives, the first one in Georgia.
More than 63,000 families are safer thanks to the smoke alarms and safety education they received in their homes from Red Cross volunteers, firefighters and other community partners. And more than 311,000 children have learned to be safer in emergencies from Red Cross volunteers and apps.
In Georgia, efforts made a difference within the first few days of the campaign’s kick-off last October in Albany, when a self-cleaning oven caught fire and a newly installed alarm alerted the napping home owner. This early success energized local volunteers, fire departments, Boy Scout troops, faith-based organizations, corporate employees and dozens of other community partners statewide. With their help, Georgia’s Red Cross engaged more volunteers in this life-changing initiative than any other Red Cross region in the country by July 1st, achieving:
• Nearly 3,300 smoke alarms installed in at-risk neighborhoods
• Nearly 11,000 children educated through preparedness programs
“In this country, seven people lose their lives every day from a home fire,” said Eric Corliss, Disaster Officer for Georgia’s Red Cross. “Over the next few years, the Home Fire Campaign will keep on going to help protect Georgians and prepare them for home fires and other emergencies.”
In metro Atlanta, Red Cross Home Fire Campaign season is gearing up again with the approach of National Fire Prevention Week (Oct. 4-10). More than 18 smoke alarm installation events are already scheduled statewide now through December, including four in Cobb and DeKalb counties:
• October 10th – Smyrna
• October 17th – Clarkston
• October 24th – Marietta
• November 14th – Lithonia
People of all ages are vulnerable to home fires. During the course of this campaign, the lives saved included a two-month-old baby, a 73-year-old grandmother, and 11 members of an extended New Orleans family by new smoke alarms that the Red Cross and our partners installed.
The Home Fire Campaign is a multi-year effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. Working alongside fire departments and community groups across the country, the Red Cross and its partners have installed more than 125,000 smoke alarms in nearly 2,400 cities and towns.
Launched across the country in October 2014, the Red Cross and more than 1,900 local partners and 40 national partners have:
• Saved 26 lives in six states (Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Louisiana, South Dakota and Texas)
• Installed more than 125,000 smoke alarms in nearly 2,400 cities and towns
• Reached more than 485,000 people with safety information, including more than 311,000 youth
• Visited more than 63,000 homes 50 states and 3 territories
Key supporters include: local fire departments, state fire marshals, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC); Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); United States Fire Administration (USFA); National Fire Protection Association (NFPA); Rebuilding Together; Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation; Meals on Wheels America; Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS); National Council on Independent Living (NCIL); Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA); Vision 20/20; Project Paradigm; Hope worldwide; Habitat for Humanity; Portlight Strategies, Inc.; and Lott Carey.
TWO MINUTES TO ESCAPE
It is estimated that someone may have only two minutes to get out after a fire starts in their home. As part of the campaign, the Red Cross is also asking every household in America to take two simple steps that can save lives: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. Every family should develop a fire escape plan, and practice it.
GET INVOLVED People can visit redcross.org to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire or contact their local Red Cross to find out about smoke alarm installation events in their community. They can also help by volunteering their time or making a donation today to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. We respond to nearly 70,000 other disasters every year, from home fires to hurricanes and more. Learn more about how Disaster Relief donations have helped people affected by previous disasters including home fires.
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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.