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Home Fires Increasing Statewide Since December

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BOSTON, Ma. JANUARY 14, 2015 —Annually winter is the season there is an increase in home fires statewide with January and February typically seeing the greatest increase. Since December 1, Red Cross volunteer disaster teams have responded to 67 fires across the state.

“It’s important for families and individuals to understand how dangerous home fires can be and aware of the steps they can take to be safer,” said Ralph Boyd, CEO of the American Red Cross of Massachusetts. “For example, checking or installing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home saves lives.”

The Red Cross mission of alleviating human suffering includes not only responding to these fires and providing assistance to those affected, but also sharing key information that can help prepare our communities for preventing for these fires. Important national statistics include:

•    On average 7 people die every day in a home fire
•    36 people a day suffer injuries as a result of a home fire
•    Over $37 billion a year in property damage is caused by home fires

Red Cross advocates for homeowners to consider the following to better protect themselves in the event of a home fire.

1.    Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half. You should test your smoke alarms at least once a month, replace their batteries at least once a year, and replace the whole alarm every ten years.
2.    Your home may be full of fire hazards that you aren’t aware of. From your kitchen stove, to a romantic candle, to festive holiday lights, common household items can turn dangerous very quickly.
3.    Fire experts agree that you may have as little as 2 minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. Plan your evacuation and practice it at least twice a year as a family.
4.    If you and your family are displaced or need assistance after a home fire, contact your local Red Cross for assistance.

The Red Cross has several qualified spokespeople with extensive experience responding to fires and other disasters who can be made available for interviews for print and broadcast opportunities. To learn more about the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign please visit:

For further information contact: Jessica Emond at 617.274.5230 or at
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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.