The American Red Cross Serving Central Texas and its partners will install free smoke alarms and distribute fire safety information on September 24, 2016 as part of its nationwide Home Fire Campaign to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries.
Homeowners, renters and landlords in need of a free smoke alarm and installation, or who are not sure if their smoke alarms are working, can contact the American Red Cross Serving Central Texas at this link. All installations will be mapped out and take place on the 24th of September. September is also National Preparedness Month and the perfect time to increase awareness of home fire prevention techniques and statistics.
The Red Cross will be visiting homes in the Austin area on September 24 from 9:00 am to Noon to install smoke alarms in homes that need them and teach people about what to do now in case a fire breaks out in their home.
“Installing smoke alarms cuts the risk of someone dying from a home fire in half, so we are joining with groups from across our community to install smoke alarms,” said Katie Braymer, Regional Disaster Officer for the American Red Cross Serving Central and South Texas. “And as a part of National Preparedness Month we will be teaching people how to be safe should they have a home fire.”
IMPACT OF HOME FIRES & RED CROSS RESPONSE: Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a home fire and on average 36 people suffer injuries as a result of home fires every day. To combat these tragic statistics, the Red Cross has launched a nationwide campaign to reduce the number of deaths and injuries due to home fires by 25 percent by the end of 2019. Since 2014 the Home Fire Campaign has saved more than 100 lives nationwide and the American Red Cross Serving Central Texas has visited 1,076 homes, installed 2,961 smoke alarms and served 3,372 people.
Home fires remain the biggest disaster threat to individuals and families in the United States and the number one disaster the Red Cross responds to in America. This campaign is in direct response to that dire threat, with the Red Cross committing to install 2.5 million free smoke alarms in neighborhoods at high risk for fires, and to educate those residents about fire prevention and preparedness.
HOW TO GET A FREE SMOKE ALARM & INSTALLATION: People can visit this link to sign-up for smoke alarm installation on September 24th.
HOME FIRE SAFETY, A FEW SIMPLE STEPS: Most home fires can be prevented. The Red Cross is asking everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: check their existing smoke alarm and practice fire drills at home.
There are several things families and individuals can do to increase their chances of survival in 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 and practice.
- · If someone does have alarms, test them today. If they don’t work, replace them.
- · Make sure everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and the home in less than two minutes.
- · Practice the plan with home fire drills. What’s the household’s escape time? An individual only has two minutes.
HOW CAN PEOPLE HELP: People can visit this link to sign up to be a volunteer for the HFC smoke alarm installation on September 24 and to learn how to protect themselves and their loved ones from a fire.
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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 visit www.redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.