Bozeman, MT, October 7, 2013 - The biggest disaster threat to American families isn’t floods, hurricanes or tornadoes; it’s fire. The American Red Cross responds to a disaster every eight minutes and nearly all of these are home fires.
“Home fires are a common and deadly threat because they happen so quickly,” said Rod Kopp, CEO of Montana Red Cross. “We urge everyone to become aware of what they should do to prevent a fire in their home.”
According to the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA), there are almost 365,000 residential fires reported in the U.S. every year. These fires cause more than $6 billion in property loss. While the frequency of fire deaths has steadily decreased over the past ten years due to increased awareness and safety measures, more than 2,400 Americans still die every year in home fires.
“Here in Montana, the Red Cross responds to all kinds of disasters,” says Kopp. “But our most common response, bar none, is house fires. The truth is that most home fires can be prevented.” Homeowners should check for 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, TAKE THESE PRECAUTIONS:
SMOKE ALARMS SAVE LIVES
MAKE A PLAN
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.
OTHER SAFETY TIPS
People can visit www.redcross.org/montana for more steps they can take to lessen the chance of a fire in their home.
You can help people affected by home fires, as well as countless other disasters at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. Visit www.redcross.org/montana or call 1-800-ARC-MONT (1-800-272-6668). Contributions may also be sent to American Red Cross of Montana, 1300 28th Street South, Great Falls, MT 59405.
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 redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.