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Red Cross Home Fire Campaign Saves Dozens of Lives

Red Cross Home Fire Campaign Saves Dozens of Lives; Installs Quarter of a Million Smoke Alarms Across U.S.

Test smoke alarms when turning clocks ahead for DST: Sunday, March 13

Sacramento - March 8, 2016 — The American Red Cross and thousands of Home Fire Campaign partners have helped save at least 77 lives and installed more than a quarter of a million smoke alarms in homes all across the country since the campaign launched in October of 2014.

“Seven people die every day from a home fire. But our coalition is changing that with each new smoke alarm we install, each time a family tests their smoke alarm, and each time they practice to be sure everyone can get out safely in two minutes,” said Russ Paulsen, executive director, Community Preparedness and Resilience for the Red Cross. “The campaign has already helped to save the lives of dozens of people and we know that number will continue grow as more alarms are installed and more people take action to prevent home fires.” 

The Red Cross launched the Home Fire Campaign to reduce the number of people who die or are injured during a fire in their home by 25 percent. Working with fire departments and community groups across the country, the Red Cross is installing free home smoke alarms in neighborhoods at high risk for fires and teaching residents about fire prevention and preparedness. The Red Cross and its partners have taught 443,000 youth to be safer in emergencies and installed 264,000 smoke alarms in 4,500 cities and towns in all 50 states. 


Daylight Saving Time occurs at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning, March 13, and the Red Cross reminds everyone to TURN AND TEST – turn their clocks ahead one hour and test their smoke alarms. If someone’s home is lacking smoke alarms, residents should install smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. The alarms should be tested every month and the batteries replaced at least once a year, or according to the alarm manufacturer’s instructions.

“With clocks around the country springing forward this weekend, it’s a perfect time for families to test their smoke alarms and practice escaping,” continued Paulsen. “While testing your smoke alarm, practice your fire drill at home until everyone can escape in under two minutes.” 

Every household should develop a fire escape plan and practice it several times a year and at different times of the day. The plan should include two ways to get out of every room and a place to meet outside. Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas or homes with two stories or more.

The Home Fire Campaign is supported by more than 2,500 local community partners and more than 40 national partner organizations. Key partners include: International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC); Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); United States Fire Administration (USFA); National Fire Protection Association (NFPA); Rebuilding Together; Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation; the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS); Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA); Vision 20/20; Project Paradigm; Hope worldwide; Habitat for Humanity; National Disability Rights Network (NDRD); Southern Baptist Convention; and Lott Carey. 

People can visit to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved ones from fire or contact their local Red Cross to learn about the location of local smoke alarm installation events. They can also help by volunteering their time or making a donation today 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 nearly 66,000 other disasters every year, from home fires to hurricanes and more.

Contact: Public Affairs, Telephone: (916) 993-7084, 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