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American Red Cross in New Mexico Offers Home Fire Prevention Tips

Albuquerque, NM — Winter is the busiest time of year for home fires and the American Red Cross wants people in New Mexico to know what they can do to help prevent home fires and what to do if a fire occurs.

“More home fires occur in winter than any other season and having working smoke alarms, carbon monoxide alarms and a fire escape plan can help save lives in the winter months and all year long.” said Rahim Balsara, CEO American Red Cross in New Mexico. “The Red Cross has a series of tips on preventing home fires and responding quickly if a fire occurs.”

Install Smoke Alarms and Carbon Monoxide Alarms

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
  • Make sure all household members know what a smoke alarm sounds like and what to do when they hear one.
  • Test smoke alarms every month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
  • Install carbon monoxide alarms in central locations on every level of the home and outside sleeping areas. If a carbon monoxide alarm sounds, quickly move outdoors and call 9-1-1.
  • Create a Fire Escape Plan

  • Create a fire escape plan and ensure that all household members know at least two ways to get out of every room if it’s possible.
  • Determine a meeting place a safe distance from the home where everyone will go if a fire occurs.
  • Practice your plan at least twice a year.
  • Other Fire Safety Tips:

  • Keep lighters and matches in a secured spot out of the reach of children.
  • Have fireplaces and chimneys cleaned and inspected annually.
  • Keep items that can catch fire at least three feet away from fireplaces, stoves and space heaters.
  • Turn off portable space heaters and extinguish candles when you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • “In the event of a home fire, get out, stay out and call 9-1-1,” Balsara added. “Teach household members to stop, drop and roll if their clothes should catch fire.”

    People can find additional information on how to protect their loved ones and their property at The American Red Cross in New Mexico has responded to 255 home fires across the state so far in 2012.

    Help Your Neighbors

    The Red Cross is there to help those in need when fires break out. The American Red Cross in New Mexico responded to 250 home fires last year all over New Mexico. The Red Cross depends on the generous support of New Mexico residents to be ready to respond and help our neighbors who are affected by home fires. People can help neighbors recover from disasters like home fires by making a tax-deductible donation today. To make a financial donation, go to or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

    The Red Cross depends on the generosity of the American people to fulfill our mission. To help the Red Cross continue to save lives, contributions may be made to the American Red Cross Local Disaster Relief Fund by calling 1-800-560-2302. Contributions to the Local Disaster Relief Fund may also be sent to the American Red Cross in New Mexico by mail: American Red Cross in New Mexico, 7445 Pan American West Fwy. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109 or made online at Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

    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, please visit or join our blog at

    Media Contact: Beverly L. Allen, Communications Coordinator,, (505) 220 3097, December 18, 2012