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Red Cross Urges Residents to Help Prevent Home Fires

National Fire Prevention Week is a perfect time to start

STATEWIDE (October 13th) – The American Red Cross in Maine is asking every household in the state to take some simple steps that can help prevent home fires and save lives.

“Home fires can be a deadly threat because they happen so quickly,” said Justin Burkhardt, Director of Communications for the Red Cross in Maine. “National Fire Prevention Week is a perfect time for Mainers to learn what they should do to prevent a fire in their home.”

INSTALL & TEST SMOKE ALARMS:  Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half: 
- Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms.
- Test smoke alarms once a month.
- Change the batteries at least once a year – if your model requires it. 
- Replace smoke alarms every ten years.

MAKE A PLAN: People may only have two minutes to escape when a fire occurs. The Red Cross recommends that households develop a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year. Everyone should know two ways to escape from every room and designate a safe place to meet outside the home in case of a fire. Discuss the plan with all household members and practice it until everyone – including children – can escape in less than two minutes.

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS: The Red Cross Emergency App includes content on how to prevent home fires and what to do if one occurs. Parents can download the Monster Guard App to help their children learn what to do and how to protect themselves. Both apps can be downloaded for free in app stores or by going to redcross.org/apps.

JOIN THE RED CROSS HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN: Over the last two years, the Red Cross in Maine has installed more than 4,500 smoke alarms in homes throughout the state. Red Cross volunteers are constantly working in communities throughout the state to reduce home fires and a working smoke alarm increases the odds of someone surviving a home fire by 50 percent. 

Residents wishing to schedule an appointment to have smoke alarms, free of charge, installed in their home should call the Red Cross (207) 941-2903 ext. 113.

People can join the Red Cross effort to save lives, reduce injuries and cut down on needless losses from home fires by making a financial donation to the Home Fire Campaign by visiting MaineRedCross.org, calling 1-800 REDCROSS or texting FIRE to 90999. Their gift to Home Fires enables the Red Cross to provide critical services to people impacted by home fires along with the lifesaving tools and information to support home fire prevention efforts. People can also help by becoming a Red Cross volunteer. 

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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 MaineRedCross.org or visit us on Facebook or Twitter at @ARC_Maine.