OMAHA, NEB., Monday, January 06, 2014 —With negative temperatures and even lower wind chills throughout much of Nebraska and Iowa, it is important that families and individuals remain vigilant in practicing home fire safety. Although rarely making headlines, home fires are the most common disaster the Red Cross responds to, sending volunteers to the scene of fires at all hours of the day and night to help those affected.
Heat sources such as space heaters, fireplaces or wood and coal stoves can pose a fire hazard. To reduce the risk of heating related fires, the Red Cross recommends keeping anything that can burn such as paper, bedding or furniture, at least three feet away from heating equipment and fireplaces and to never leave these unattended.
“Last month, the Nebraska/SW Iowa Region responded to more than 60 home fires across Nebraska and in portions of Iowa,” said Tina Labellarte, Region CEO. “But the good news is that there are steps you can take to reduce your risk of a home fire.”
Home Fire Safety Tips
The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. About 65 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms can save lives.
Smoke Alarm Safety Tips
For more information on home fire safety, download the American Red Cross First Aid App, which provides tips on how to prevent home fires and on severe winter weather safety. This free app is available on the Apple iTunes or Google Play stores. Find all of the Red Cross apps at redcross.org/mobileapps.
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 join our blog at blog.redcross.org.