Home Fire Prevention Week October 6-12

American Red Cross Fire Safety Tips Help to Save Lives

Install Smoke Alarms and Create a Fire Escape Planhome fire logo

This October 6-12 the American Red Cross is helping families and businesses learn how to protect themselves and others from fires in observance of National Fire Prevention Week. Last year, the Eastern NC Region responded to Red Cross to more than around 700 home fires throughout our 33 counties by providing comfort and basic necessities to more than 1,000 residents.

“Across the country we respond to one home fire every nine minutes. The best thing you can do to protect your loved ones is to install a smoke alarm and  develop and practice a fire escape plan,” said David Garrison, Regional Disaster Officer. “Fires can spread very quickly, so everyone at home, school and work should know what to do when they hear the sound of a smoke alarm.”

Additional recommendations include:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the house and inside bedrooms.
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Test each alarm monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Ensure that household members know two ways to escape from every room and designate a place to meet outside of your house in case of a fire. Practice your plan at least twice a year.
  • Follow your escape plan in case of fire. Get out, stay out, and call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
  • Download the American Red Cross First Aid App to get access to life-saving information on what to do for common, everyday first aid emergencies. The app is available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play for Android.

Visit www.redcrm13445294_ChangeBatteriesoss.org/homefires for additional fire safety tips.

Business, too, should be prepared. Fire is the most common of all business disasters. According to the United State Fire Association, non-residential building fires resulted in $2.4 billion in losses in 2010. Companies, schools and other organizations can learn how to prepare for fires and other emergencies by becoming a member of the Red Cross Ready Rating™ Program at www.readyrating.org. Complete a free, online assessment of your current readiness level and receive customized feedback with tips to improve preparedness.

In addition to helping families and businesses prepare their homes and facilities for potential fires, the Red Cross is there to help those in need when fires break out. The Eastern NC Region responded to more than 700 home fires last year, Earlier this summer, the local Red Cross responded to a fire in Kinston Towers (Kinston, NC) housing complex that displaced nearly 150 people for almost 4 weeks.  Volunteers worked in collaboration with other community partners to ensure all of the residents had access to temporary housing, daily meals, supplies and additional services while they waited to return home.

“In order to continue responding to disasters like fires at homes and businesses here in eastern NC, the Red Cross depends on the generous support of individuals and businesses in the community,” added Garrison. “To make a donation to your local Red Cross chapter you can call 1-800-RED-CROSS or go to redcross.org.

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