TAMPA, FL, Monday, January 19, 2015 – The American Red Cross of Tampa Bay has teamed up with the Largo Fire Department and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members to go door to door on January 31, 2015 between 9:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. promoting fire safety and installing free smoke alarms in Largo homes located north of Ulmerton Road, south of West Bay Drive, west of Clearwater-Largo Road South to 20th Street SW.
This initiative is part of a national Red Cross campaign to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires by as much as 25 percent over the next five years.
The Red Cross also is asking every household in America to take the two simple steps that can save lives: checking their existing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home.
To date, the Red Cross of Central Florida has installed 587 smoke alarms. Nationwide, over 17,000 smoke alarms have been installed. The goal of the campaign is to install 62,000 alarms by June 30, 2015.
“Installing smoke alarms cuts the risk of someone dying from a home fire in half, so we’re joining with groups from across our community to install free smoke alarms,” said Janet McGuire, spokesperson for the Tampa Bay Chapter. “We also will be teaching people how to be safe from home fire.”
Simple Steps to Save Lives
Even as the Red Cross and other groups install smoke alarms in some neighborhoods, they are calling on everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home,
There are several things families and individuals can do to increase their chances of surviving a fire:
• If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Local building codes vary and there may be additional requirements where someone lives.
• If someone does have alarms, test them today. If they don’t work, replace them.
• Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.
• Practice that plan. What’s the household’s escape time?
The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year in the United States and the vast majority of those are home fires. In Tampa Bay, the Red Cross responded to 449 home fires last year. You can help people affected by disasters like home fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text the REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
For more information, contact Jose Bueno at (813) 868-7673.
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.