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Red Cross Saves Lives-One Home at a Time

Fire Safety

Over the weekend, volunteers from the Johnson Saint Paris Fire District and the American Red Cross ventured across Champaign County helping to save residents lives. Going door to door they installed smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, changed batteries and educated about fire safety. The Red Cross Home Fire Campaign goal is to focuses on increasing the use of smoke alarms and encouraging everyone to practice their fire escape to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires by as much as 25 percent over the next five years.

 “Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a home fire and we have witnessed that tragedy right here our community,” said Lynne Gump, Executive Director, “There are simple steps every household can take right now to prevent home fires and save lives.” 

 Simple Steps to Save Lives The Red Cross is calling on everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home, There are several other things families and individuals can do to increase their chances of surviving a fire:

 • If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Local building codes vary and there may be additional requirements where someone lives.

 • If someone does have alarms, test them today. If they don’t work, replace them. • Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes

. • Practice that plan.

 What’s the household’s escape time? Don’t Have an Alarm? There is an open invitation for residents to receive this life-saving program. Simply call the local Red Cross office at 937-399-3872, 937-332-1414 or 937-548-1002 and a volunteer will set up an appointment to come to your house and install the alarms needed. 

Poll Shows Many People Have False Sense of Security about Fire Safety 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 may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. But most Americans (62 percent) mistakenly believe they have at least five minutes to escape. Nearly one in five (18 percent) believe they have ten minutes or more. When asked about their confidence levels in actually escaping a burning home, roughly four in 10 of those polled (42 percent) believed they could get out in two minutes. While 69 percent of parents believe their children would know what to do or how to escape with little help, the survey found that many families had not taken necessary steps to support that level of confidence. 

 • Less than one in five of families with children age 3-17 (18 percent) report that they’ve actually practiced home fire drills.

 • Less than half of parents (48 percent) have talked to their families about fire safety.

• Only one third of families with children (30 percent) have identified a safe place to meet outside their home. 

The American Red Cross is proud to take part in helping the people of Champaign County. If you would like to join with the American Red Cross and their work in our community, simply register online at or call the office at 937-399-3872. About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. For more information, please visit or follow us on Twitter at @NMVORedCross or on Facebook at - END -