“During Fire Prevention Week, and every day, we urge everyone to prepare your family for home fires before the holidays and cold weather increase the risk of these crises,” said Marty McKellips, Regional Chief Executive Officer, Central and South Texas Region. “Please install and test smoke alarms on every level of your home and practice your escape plan until everyone can get out in two minutes or less.”
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). Remember to do the following:
- 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.
LIFESAVING HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN MARKS FIVE YEARS Home fires take seven lives each day in the U.S., most often in homes without working smoke alarms. That’s why the Red Cross is working with partners to install free smoke alarms in high-risk communities and help families create escape plans through its Home Fire Campaign — which has saved at least 638 lives across the country since launching in October 2014.
In fiscal year 2019 (June 30, 2018 – July 1, 2019) in Central and South Texas, the Red Cross and local partners have:
- Installed 1,286 free smoke alarms.
- Reached 973 children through youth preparedness programs.
- Made 548 households safer from the threat of home fires.
It is through the generosity of donors and power of volunteers that the Red Cross is able to fulfill its humanitarian mission. To support our lifesaving work, please consider volunteering or making a donation by visiting redcross.org.