On Saturday, January 30th and Sunday, January 31st, 2016, the American Red Cross Serving Central Texas partnered wtih volunteer fire departments in Milam County to install free smoke alarms and teach residents about fire safety. The canvassing event is part of a nationwide Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, which aims to reduce home fire deaths and injuries by 25% over the next five years.
Red Cross volunteers and volunteer firefighters went door to door in neighborhoods in Milam County that have historically been high-risk for home fires.
“We are so proud to partner with firefighters to make Milam County families safer,” said Katie Braymer, Regional Disaster Officer for the American Red Cross Serving Central and South Texas. “By installing smoke alarms door-to-door and teaching residents a few simple things they can do—like creating an escape plan and practicing a home fire drill—we are saving lives, one home at a time. Our goal is to help people not only after they’ve been impacted by a disaster like a home fire, but give them the tools to prevent and prepare long before the unthinkable happens.”
Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a home fire. Countless others suffer infuries. The Home Fire Preparedness Campaign is happening all over the nation and aims to education people about fire safety using caring and knowledgeable volunteers and home visits.
Simple Steps to Save Lives
The Red Cross is asking everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home.
There are several 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?