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Home Fire Campaign Saves 26 Lives In A Year

In One Year: Red Cross and Partners Save 26 Lives, Install Smoke Alarms in all 50 States

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 28, 2015 — In just one year, at least 26 people are alive today thanks to a nationwide campaign spearheaded by the American Red Cross to save lives and reduce injuries from home fires. More than 63,000 families are safer thanks to the smoke alarms and safety education they received in their homes from Red Cross volunteers, firefighters and other community partners. And more than 311,000 children have learned to be safer in emergencies from Red Cross volunteers and apps.

“In this country, seven people lose their lives every day from a home fire,” said Russ Paulsen, Executive

Director of Community Preparedness for the Red Cross. “Even one death from a home fire is tragic, because every single one of these deaths is preventable. When communities work together, we know we can reach more families, install life-saving smoke alarms in their homes and teach fire safety. And thanks to the American Red Cross and our partners, that’s happening from coast to coast.”

The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign is a multi-year effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. Working alongside fire departments and community groups across the country, the Red Cross and its partners have installed more than 125,000 smoke alarms in nearly 2,400 cities and towns.

People of all ages are vulnerable to home fires. During the course of this campaign, we were gratified and thrilled that among others, the lives were saved of a two-month-old baby, a 73-year-old grandmother, and 11 members of an extended New Orleans family by new smoke alarms that the Red Cross and our partners installed.


Launching nationwide in October 2014, the Red Cross and more than 1,900 local partners and 40 national partners have:

  • Saved 26 lives in six states (Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Louisiana, South Dakota and Texas)
  • Installed more than 125,000 smoke alarms in nearly 2,400 cities and towns
  • Reached more than 485,000 people with safety information, including more than 311,000 youth
  • Visited more than 63,000 homes 50 states and 3 territories
  • Key supporters include: local fire departments, state fire marshals, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC); Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); United States Fire Administration (USFA); National Fire Protection Association (NFPA); Rebuilding Together; Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation; Meals on Wheels America; Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS); National Council on Independent Living (NCIL); Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA); Vision 20/20; Project Paradigm; Hope worldwide; Habitat for Humanity; Portlight Strategies, Inc.; and Lott Carey.


    It is estimated that you may have only two minutes to get out after a fire starts in your home. As part of the campaign, the Red Cross is also asking every household in America to join us in taking two simple steps that can save lives: checking their existing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home. Every family should develop a fire escape plan, and practice it.


    People can visit to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved ones and homes from fire or contact their local Red Cross to find out about smoke alarm installation events in their community. They can also help by volunteering their time or making a donation today to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting, 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 hurricanes and more. Learn more about how Disaster Relief donations have helped people affected by previous disasters including home fires.

    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, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.