Following a recent spike of home fires in the Philadelphia area, including Wednesday’s tragic fire in Fairmount, the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Region encourages everyone to teach their families about fire safety and offers free resources to help.
In just the past two weeks, local Red Cross volunteers helped more than 100 people affected by two dozen home fires in Philadelphia, Bucks, Chester, Delaware and Montgomery counties. For residents affected by the recent fires, the Red Cross has provided emergency financial assistance, food, relief items like toiletries, emotional support and has connected people to available recovery assistance.
“It’s heartbreaking for anyone to experience a home fire, but it’s gut-wrenching when lives are lost,” said Guy Triano, Regional CEO for the American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania. “We want to help ensure families and children are prepared. Please talk to everyone in your household about home fire safety and practice your escape plan together until everyone can get out in two minutes or less.”
HOW TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE
Below are some key ways to prepare your family:
- Practice your escape plan: Take time to discuss fire safety with your family. Familiarize children with the sound of your smoke alarm and teach them what to do when they hear it when you practice your escape plan.
- Install and test smoke alarms: Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Test them monthly and replace alarm batteries as needed.
SMOKE ALARM AND HOME FIRE SAFETY RESOURCES
Most of us don’t realize we have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late, according to a 2020 Red Cross survey. That’s why the Red Cross is preparing families to act quickly through its Home Fire Campaign. As part of the program, the Red Cross offers free smoke alarm installations in Southeastern Pennsylvania. If you need alarms, you can visit our Home Fire Safety web page or call 215-299-4029.
For free home fire safety resources, including an escape plan, visit redcross.org/fire or download the free Red Cross Emergency app (search “American Red Cross” in app stores or go to redcross.org/apps). Children can also learn what to do during a home fire and other emergencies with free resources at redcross.org/YouthPrep.
MORE HOME FIRE SAFETY ACTIVITIES FOR KIDS
Parents can enable the Pedro’s Fire Challenge skill on Alexa-enabled devices to have “Pedro the Penguin,” a Red Cross youth program character, guide children through engaging activities and games to earn virtual fire safety badges. The Red Cross created the skill to help children learn core home fire and preparedness skills, such as identifying smoke alarm locations, crawling under smoke in a fire and ways to cope after a fire. Learn more in this video.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% 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.