As families prepare and gather for meals and celebrations this time of year, the American Red Cross urges residents to take extra precautions to prevent fires.
Since November in the St. Louis area, local Red Cross disaster volunteers have provided emergency relief to 65 families after a home fire, and have responded to many more.
“Cooking is the leading cause of home fires, and as people are cooking, entertaining, and stringing lights this holiday season, we’re urging that they take safety measures to ensure that their homes and loved ones are safe,” said Cindy Erickson, Regional CEO of the Red Cross.
Christmas Day, Christmas Eve and Thanksgiving are the top three days for cooking fires, according to the National Fire Prevention Association. Nationally, on average, the Red Cross responds to a disaster every eight minutes, and the vast majority of them are home fires.
The Red Cross has some simple steps everyone can follow to prevent home fires around the holidays:
The Red Cross is committed to teaching people the skills they need to prevent home fires, and helping people recover after a fire happens. For more information on fire prevention and how to create a fire safety and emergency escape plan for your family, visit redcross.org.
At any time of day or night, trained Red Cross volunteers are activated to respond to the scene of home fires and provide food, shelter, emotional support and other emergency relief to those affected. On average in the St. Louis area, the Red Cross responds to three fires a day.
All Red Cross disaster assistance is free to those in need because of generous donations from the community. Help your neighbors recover from disasters like home fires by making a tax-deductible donation to your local Red Cross.
The Red Cross is part of the “All Ready” campaign, a unified effort among emergency preparedness experts in the bi-state region that focuses on the importance of individual preparedness. The campaign encourages the three critical steps of preparedness: Make a plan, Get a kit, Be informed.
The American Red Cross Greater St. Louis Region is a proud member agency of the United Way, which makes significant investments every year in Red Cross services.