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Red Cross Convenes Partners in Billings to Reduce Home Fires

Billings, MT, August 3, 2015—Home fires are the greatest disaster threat to American families. Seven people die every day from home fires. Fire-related injuries are reported every 40 minutes. Annually, home fires cause 2,500 deaths and roughly $7 billion in property damage in the United States alone. 62% of people mistakenly believe that they have five minutes to escape a burning building, more than twice as long as they have on average.

In 2014, the American Red Cross launched a national Home Fire Preparedness Campaign to reduce the number of deaths and injuries by 25% in five years.

“The Red Cross’s Home Fire Preparedness Campaign is saving lives, reducing injuries and building more resilient communities,” says Abbra Firman, Disaster Program Manager for Montana Red Cross. “We need Billings’s schools, businesses, houses of worship, social service agencies, neighborhood leaders and others to form a large coalition to help keep our community safe.”

The campaign’s first local event will take place on Saturday, October 3rd when coalition volunteers will go door-to-door in selected neighborhoods to share fire safety information and install 500 new smoke alarms, free-of-charge, in local homes that need them. Firman confirms that the Billings Fire Department and United Way have already signed on as coalition partners.

“We intend to recruit over 100 volunteers to join forces with us. Working together, we can save lives in Billings,” adds Firman.

You can help

Take action in your community:

  • Sign up as a Red Cross volunteer to canvass local neighborhoods, distribute fire safety information and install free smoke alarms, or a lead a youth-education activity. You can sign up right on our website: www.redcross.org/montana.
  • Ask your employer to join the coalition of partners. To register as a partner, contact Abbra Firman at abbra.firman@redcross.org or by calling 406-210-8286.
  • Want to learn more?

    Contact your local Red Cross at 406-210-8286 and ask for Abbra Firman.

    You can help people affected by disasters like home fires, as well as countless other crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, and other emergency assistance in response to disasters. To donate, please visit www.redcross.org/montana, call 1-800-ARC-MONT (1-800-272-6668) or send a check to the American Red Cross of Montana, 1300 28th Street South, Great Falls, MT 59405.

    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.