Seven people die in home fires in the United States on a typical day. Most Americans believe they have five minutes to escape their home. They don’t.
To build more resilient communities, the American Red Cross and its partners are working together to protect families from the most common disaster in the country, home fires. This weekend volunteers from the Red Cross and firefighters from Summerville Fire Department will be visiting homes in Summerville to show people how to be prepared for home fires. The teams will install free smoke alarms where needed.
The effort is part of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign -- an initiative that aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent in five years. The Roper Saint Francis Physicians Endowment recently gave the Red Cross a grant to further these efforts in the Lowcountry. To date, the campaign has saved more than 130 lives across the country, 16 of these are in South Carolina.
The fire safety and smoke alarm blitz will take place on Saturday, February 11, 2017. Teams of Red Cross volunteers and firefighters will be going door-to-door, meeting with families to test and install smoke alarms, helping them create a home fire escape plan. They will also discuss the importance of having everyone in the household know what to do in case of a fire.
Media is invited to attend the event.
Who: American Red Cross
Summerville Fire Department
When: Saturday, February 11, 2017
10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m. (media availability 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.)
Where: Summerville Fire Station #2, 110 Luden Drive
Summerville, SC 29483
Contact: John McCombs, 843-814-3022
Last year in the counties served by the Lowcountry SC Chapter, the Red Cross helped more than 1,250 people after home fires.
A Red Cross survey showed that 65 percent of respondents mistakenly believe that they have at least five minutes to escape a burning home – more than twice as long as they really have. Most parents (64 percent) believe their children would know what to do or how to escape with little help, but they haven’t taken key steps to keep their loved ones safe.
For more information about home fire preparedness, to become a Red Cross volunteer, or to make a financial contribution to Red Cross visit www.redcross.org/SC.