Home fires are the biggest disaster threat people face in New Jersey. The American Red Cross responds to help a family affected by a home fire every eight minutes. The Red Cross has launched an initiative that aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25% in five years with the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.
The Red Cross North Jersey Region is partnering fire departments and community organizations to help families become better prepared for and take important steps to prevent home fires. Volunteers from the Red Cross and partner organizations will be canvassing high fire-risk cities in the region and offering free smoke alarm installation in homes that need them. Volunteers will also be distributing fire safety information and talking to families about what they can do now to be prepared should a fire break out in their home. See our volunteers in action.
Home fires represent the majority of the 70,000 disasters the American Red Cross responds to each year. Last year, Red Cross North Jersey Region Disaster Action Team volunteers responded to 494 home fires in the northern half of the state and provided emotional support and emergency assistance to 1,130 families.
The Red Cross is asking every household across the country to get involved by taking two simple steps that can save lives: checking their existing smoke alarms and practicing their fire escape plan.
CHECK YOUR SMOKE ALARMS All residences should have properly installed, functioning smoke alarms. Check the batteries in your smoke alarms monthly and replace any that aren’t operational immediately. At minimum, smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
PRACTICE YOUR FIRE ESCAPE PLAN Fire experts agree that when a fire breaks out families have as little as two minutes to escape from their burning home. Regularly practiced fire escape plans ensure all members of your household know what to do should a fire occur. Make sure everyone is able to exit the home in less than two minutes. If you don’t have a fire escape plan, develop one today.
Join the campaign as a volunteer by contacting your regional director of volunteers.
PREVENT A FIRE IN YOUR HOME 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. Use our Home Fire Safety Checklist to reduce the risk of fire in your home.