ITHACA, N.Y. (March 19, 2015) — Seven times per day on average, a person dies in a fire in this country. To reduce the number of fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent over the next five years, the American Red Cross has launched the nationwide Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.
As part of the campaign, Red Cross staff and volunteers are installing free smoke alarms in communities that have experienced a high number of fires. From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, March 21, the Red Cross will visit homes on Jake, Reuben, Mary and Gussie streets off Cecil Malone Drive in Ithaca.
In addition to offering smoke alarms and free installation, the Red Cross will provide fire safety education for the residents in that area. Joining the Red Cross staff will be volunteers from the Cornell University Greek Community who will participate as part of their Day of Demeter.
“We hope the Ithaca residents in these neighborhoods spend a few minutes with us on Saturday to take advantage of this potentially life-saving opportunity,” said American Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Jill Deskins, who oversees Tompkins County. “We’re excited to spread the word about fire safety throughout the Southern Tier as we will visit more communities over the next five years.”
Home fires affect more people annually in the United States than floods, tornadoes and hurricanes combined, according to statistics compiled by the American Red Cross. The Red Cross is asking every household in America to take the two simple steps that can save lives: check existing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home. For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information, visit redcross.org/homefires.
Anyone interested in having a free smoke alarm installed in their home should contact Deskins at firstname.lastname@example.org or (607) 785-7207.
Home Fire and Smoke Alarm Facts:
• Home fires in the United States kill more than 2,500 people annually and cause an average of 13,000 injuries. (These figures do not include firefighter deaths or injuries.)
• Home fires cause nearly $7 billion in property damage annually.
• Smoke alarms are either missing or non-functional in 73 percent of rural home fires.
• Nearly two-thirds of all fire-related deaths occur in homes that have no functioning smoke alarms.