The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign is now credited with helping save 464 lives since the effort began in October of 2014.
The Home Fire Campaign focuses on installing free smoke alarms in neighborhoods at high risk for fires and teaching people about fire safety. As of July 31, 2018, the effort has helped 464 lives, 161 of them children under age 18. Those affected report smoke alarms alerted them to evacuate their home or that they followed home fire escape plans they developed with the help of the Red Cross.
The Red Cross responds to as many as 64,000 disasters every year and most of these are home fires. Sadly, seven times a day someone in this country dies in a home fire, the most common disaster people face in this country. In a typical year, home fires kill more people in the United States than all other natural disasters combined.
To combat these statistics, the Red Cross launched the Home Fire Campaign in 2014, focusing on installing free smoke alarms in neighborhoods at high risk for fires and teaching people about fire safety.
Since the program’s start, the Red Cross and its more than 4,530 partners have installed over 1.4 million smoke alarms in homes in more than 13,800 cities and towns across the country.
In addition, the campaign has:
- Reached more than 593,000 homes.
- Served more than 1.5 million people living in the homes visited during the campaign.
- Red Cross volunteers and partners have also replaced more than 66,800 smoke alarm batteries.
- Helped more than 505,000 people develop home fire escape plans.
- Reached more than 1.1 million children through preparedness programs.
WHAT YOU CAN DO According to a recent survey by the Red Cross, many people overestimate their ability to react to a home fire and miss critical steps to keep their loved ones safe. Full details are available here.
To help save lives, the Red Cross is asking every household in America to take two simple steps:
1. Practice fire drills at home. Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home and the Red Cross urges every household to create a fire escape plan and practice it until everyone can escape in less than two minutes.
2. Check smoke alarms monthly. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half. Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms. Test smoke alarms once a month. Change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it.
The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its crucial mission. If someone would like to help, please consider making a donation today by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift.