In honor Martin Luther King, Jr., Wyoming residents volunteered with the Red Cross installing smoke alarms across the Wind River Indian Reservation on Monday, Jan. 18. Local volunteers as well as volunteers from throughout the state installed a total of 82 smoke alarms, tested several pre-existing alarms, and educated the households about home fire prevention, how to make an escape plan, and wildfire safety.
The WRIR is the third largest reservation in the country, covering an area 77 miles long and 44 miles wide. The Red Cross outreach event reached a total of 68 people, including 24 children, seven seniors, and four people with disabilities or access needs.
HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN
The American Red Cross responds to a disaster every eight minutes and nearly all of these are home fires. A fire in the home is the biggest disaster threat to American families, more of a risk than floods, hurricanes or tornadoes.
Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire. The Red Cross has been working to reduce that number through its Home Fire Campaign, credited in its first year with saving several lives and protecting thousands of others by installing new smoke alarms in their homes.
The Home Fire Campaign is a multi-year effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. Working with fire departments and community groups across the country, the Red Cross and its partners have installed more than 125,000 smoke alarms in homes across all 50 states. The Red Cross also is asking every household in America to take the two simple steps that can save lives: checking their existing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home.
PREVENT HOME FIRES
Fortunately, most home fires can be prevented. Homeowners should avoid using items that can be hazardous such as candles and space heaters – common items that can turn dangerous very quickly.
To help avoid a fire in the home, there are steps someone can take now:
· Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area, placing them on the ceiling or high on the wall.
· Put a smoke alarm inside every bedroom.
· Test the smoke alarms regularly. Install new batteries every year.
· Get new smoke alarms every ten years.
· Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as sources of heat or stoves.
· Never smoke in bed.
· Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to sleep.
MAKE A PLAN
You may only have two minutes to escape when a fire occurs, but most people mistakenly believe they have more than twice as long to get out. The Red Cross recommends that households develop a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year with everyone who lives in the home. People should know two ways to escape from every room and designate a safe place to meet outside the home in case of a fire. Discuss the plan with everyone in the household and practice until every member of your household – including children – can escape in less than two minutes
WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO People can visit redcross.org/Wyoming/firesafety to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved ones from fire. To find the location of smoke alarm installation events or to become a volunteer, contact (307) 638-8906. People can help by donating 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 wildfires and more. Learn more about how Disaster Relief donations have helped people affected by previous disasters including home fires.