JANUARY 18, 2019— The American Red Cross announced this week that volunteers have helped save the lives of more than 500 people through its Home Fire Campaign.
“Since October 2014, Red Cross volunteers have teamed with local partners to reduce home fire tragedies and save the lives of more than 500 people across the country,” said American Red Cross president and CEO Gail McGovern. “We want to thank every person and organization who has helped us reach this remarkable milestone.”
Home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster, and take an average of seven lives every day in the U.S. As part of the campaign, Red Cross volunteers go door-to-door in at-risk neighborhoods with community partners to install free smoke alarms and help families create home fire escape plans. You can become a volunteer by going to redcross.org/homefires.
MORE THAN 500 LIVES SAVED—AND COUNTING
When the Bell family’s home caught fire on an early December morning, Cassie Bell and her two daughters awoke to the sound of smoke alarms alerting them to danger.
Just a year earlier, Red Cross volunteers and local firefighters had visited the home to install free smoke alarms, help the family create an escape plan and review a home fire safety checklist.
“I 100 percent know those alarms waking us up saved my house and my family,” Bell said. “We live on a very limited budget, and I know if we had to have made those expenses, I might have made the wrong decision in [not] getting them installed. Thankfully, the American Red Cross, the fire department and kind individuals who donated took that worry off our plate.”
IOWA REGION VOLUNTEERS ASSIST IN 15 LIVES SAVED - AND COUNTING
Out of the 511 lives saved nationwide, 15 have happened in Iowa on three separate occasions including:
· Four lives saved in Fort Dodge in January of 2016 after the community’s first smoke alarm installation by the Red Cross weeks prior.
· Four Lives saved in Fort Dodge in December of 2016 after that same smoke alarm installation by the Red Cross a year prior.
· Seven lives saved in Dubuque in May of 2018 after a smoke alarm installation event in April.
VOLUNTEERS RESPOND EVERY DAY Every eight minutes, the Red Cross responds to a disaster—most often, these crises are devastating home fires. In communities nationwide, Red Cross volunteers work around the clock to provide comfort and urgent recovery support for affected families.
Through the Home Fire Campaign, volunteers and community partners have reached more than 1.7 million people through the campaign’s Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events. Since October 2014, the campaign has also:
· Installed more than 1.5 million free smoke alarms
· Reached more than 1.2 million children through youth preparedness programs
· Made more than 648,000 households safer from the threat of home fires
HOW YOU CAN STAY SAFE The Red Cross urges everyone to take steps to keep their household safe by installing and maintaining smoke alarms, talking with loved ones about fire safety, and creating and practicing a home fire escape plan. Visit redcross.org/homefires for free resources.
In addition, volunteers are needed to help with the Home Fire Campaign and other services in your community. Some areas are also holding smoke alarm installation events for MLK Day of Service. Contact your local Red Cross chapter to get involved.
The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its humanitarian mission. If you would like to support our lifesaving work, please consider making a donation today by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift.
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 cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.