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Local Home Fires Spike in January Cold - Red Cross to Install Free Smoke Alarms

Fire Safety

ATLANTA, Thursday, January 11, 2018 – If you shivered in the cold that arrived with the new year, think of the misery of 335 metro residents burned out of their homes and apartments in just the first week – more than twice as many as the Red Cross helped each week in December.


Firefighters summoned the Red Cross to 44 home fires, 60 percent more than the average of 28 a week in December.  Red Cross volunteers answered with temporary lodging, food, clothing, prescriptions and emotional support.


“This big spike is a scary reminder that the lower the temperature the more likely the Red Cross will be called to a scene where people have lost everything,” said Mike Richardson, a leader of the volunteer team that visits the Metro Atlantans devastated by disasters.  “Right now is a good time to make an escape plan for you and your family,” he went on, “and make sure you have at least one working smoke alarm in your home.”


Nationally, the Red Cross responded to 3,150 home fires in the first nine days of the year, compared to 2,003 in the same time frame in 2017.  As of January 9, the Red Cross was helping 12,500 people get back on their feet after home fires in 2018.


Media invited to attend installation of smoke alarms


This Saturday, Jan. 13, during the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service weekend, Red Cross volunteers will canvass the Clarkston area, scene of several recent apartment fires.

Teams of volunteers and firefighters will be going door-to-door, meeting with families to test and install smoke alarms and help them create a home fire escape plan. They will also discuss the importance of having everyone in the household know what to do in case of a fire. Efforts are part of the ongoing Red Cross Home Fire Campaign

Who:  American Red Cross, the DeKalb Fire Department, Clarkston Community Center,
 Team Red White and Blue, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints,
  Veterans for American Ideals, Refuge Coffee Co.         

 When:     Saturday, January 13th

                 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.


**MEDIA OPP: Media availability is from 10:30 am -12:00 pm.

For information about taking video/photos, scheduling interviews, and obtaining spokesperson sound, please call Divina Mims Puckett 404-922-1013.


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.