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Red Cross Offers 2016 New Year’s Safety Resolutions

Smoke detectors

Protect Yourself and Loved Ones from Home Fires

WASHINGTON, D.C. – December 29, 2015 — With the new year quickly approaching, now is the perfect time to make a promise to yourself and your loved ones. The American Red Cross strongly urges people to make a resolution that can save lives: Be prepared for emergencies – especially home fires – in 2016.

“The new year is the perfect time to make two simple resolutions to help keep you and your loved ones safe,” said Russ Paulson, executive director for Community Preparedness and Resilience Services at the Red Cross. “The first resolution is to develop a fire escape plan with your family, and practice it several times a year and at different times of the day. The goal is to make sure everyone can get out in less than two minutes.

“The second resolution is to install smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas,” continued Paulson. “Test them every month and replace the batteries at least once a year.”

Every eight minutes, the American Red Cross responds to a disaster, and the vast majority of those are home fires. In a typical year, home fires kill and injure more Americans than all other natural disasters combined. In addition to installing smoke alarms and developing an escape plan, the Red Cross suggests making the following home fire resolutions to stay safe in 2016:

  • Check electrical appliances before you leave home;
  • Do not leave food cooking on the stove;
  • Blow out candles and put out fires before going to bed;
  • Do not overload electrical outlets;
  • Use space heaters with care.
  • As part of its Home Fire Campaign, the Red Cross and thousands of local partners have installed 215,000 smoke alarms for free in homes across America. Fire safety programs have educated 395,000 youth. To date, the campaign has been credited with saving at least 32 lives.

    Visit to find out more about how to protect yourself and your loved ones from fire. To find the location of smoke alarm installation events or to become a volunteer, contact your local Red Cross.

    You can help by donating 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 tens of thousands of 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.

    Red Cross Public Affairs, Phone: (202) 303-5551,, FOR MEDIA ONLY

    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.