This week marks the fifth-year anniversary of the Home Fire Campaign.
Each year, the Red Cross Responds to an average of more than 62,000 disasters, the vast majority of which are home fires. On average, seven people die every day from a home fire, most impacting children and the elderly. So, the American Red Cross set a goal to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries in the US by 25%.
Launched in 2014, the HFC has already accomplished so much. The Red Cross along with their partners have installed nearly 2 million free smoke alarms and have made nearly 800,000 homes safer through those installations and fire education.
To date, at least 638 lives have been saved by the work around this campaign.
South Carolina is leading the charge.
The Red Cross of South Carolina along with their partners have installed nearly 75,000 free smoke alarms since 2014 and have made more than 22,000 homes safer. The Red Cross works with Fire Safe SC, the local fire departments and other community partners to make this work possible.
"Our teams respond to an average of six home fires a day in South Carolina,” said Tony Reid, The Regional Chief Disaster Officer. "Working smoke alarms and formulating a fire evacuation plan are two of the most important things families can do to be prepared. Our teams are proud to help in that work."
Because of the work of our teams, at least 65 lives have been saved across the state of South Carolina. That is the largest save rate of any state in the country.
"While the fire department puts out flames, the Red Cross meets the needs of affected families. We provide immediate financial assistance to purchase essentials – like food, toothbrushes, shoes and winter coats. We also help people who have lost their homes find a place to stay and get started on the road to recovery," said Louise Welch-Williams, the Regional CEO. "When you support the Red Cross, you support these families when they need it most."
PRACTICE YOUR PLAN AND TEST YOUR ALARMS For free home fire safety resources, visit redcross.org/homefires or download the free Red Cross Emergency App (search “American Red Cross” in app stores).
· Include at least two ways to get out of each room in your home fire escape plan.
· Select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone can meet.
· Practice your escape plan until everyone can get out in two minutes or less.
· Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, placing them inside and outside bedrooms, and sleeping areas.
· Test smoke alarms monthly, and change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it.
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.