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Red Cross, Partners to Install 15,000 Smoke Alarms Across the U.S. Over MLK Holiday Weekend

MLK Day

Red Cross Home Fire Campaign Has Already Helped Save 131 Lives

WASHINGTON, Wednesday, January 11, 2017 – As part of its ongoing Home Fire Campaign, the American Red Cross and its partners plan to install almost 15,000 smoke alarms in homes across the country over the upcoming weekend surrounding the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.

The Day of Service occurs on Monday, January 16, to honor the life of Doctor King. On a day recognizing the difference one person can make, thousands of Red Cross volunteers, fire department members and partners from coast to coast will visit homes in neighborhoods at high risk for home fires. They will install smoke alarms and educate residents about what they can do now to be prepared should a fire break out in their home.

“The Red Cross responds to almost 66,000 disasters every year and most of these are the small ones people don’t hear about – a fire in someone’s home,” said Harvey Johnson, senior vice president of Disaster Cycle Services for the Red Cross. “These home fires are devastating for the people involved and are responsible for seven deaths a day on average. This is why our Home Fire Campaign is so important. We want to help save lives and prevent injuries by installing smoke alarms in homes and educating people about home fire safety with the help of our dedicated partners.”

131 LIVES SAVED The Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, launched in October 2014, is a multi-year nationwide initiative to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent. Since the start of the campaign, the Red Cross and its partners have helped to save at least 131 lives and installed more than 619,000 smoke alarms in 8,400 cities and towns nationwide.

Working with more than 3,700 partners, the campaign has reached more than 721,000 people and made nearly 263,000 households safer, replacing more than 39,000 smoke alarm batteries and helping create more than 220,000 home fire escape plans. Through programs like The Pillowcase Project, the campaign has also helped teach more than 657,000 young people about home fire preparedness and safety.

WHAT CAN PEOPLE DO? The Red Cross is asking every household in America to join us in taking two simple steps that can help save lives - practicing fire drills at home and checking existing smoke alarms. In addition to preparing your home and family, volunteers are needed in many areas to help install smoke alarms in at-risk communities. People can contact their local Red Cross chapter to get involved.

The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its crucial mission. If someone would like to help, please consider making a donation today by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift.

The Red Cross Home Fire Campaign is made possible thanks to generous financial donations from corporate partners and the hundreds of local partner organizations and volunteers nationwide. Special thanks to Nationwide for generously supporting the Home Fire Campaign and Kidde for its generous donation of smoke alarms.

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 cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.