The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
According to a recent survey, more than 50 percent of parents have never talked to their children about fire safety and 82 percent of families have never practiced their fire escape plan. Believe it or not, a fire can completely engulf a home in as little as two minutes so creating and practicing a fire escape plan will help ensure your family is prepared.
To assist families nationwide, the Red Cross recently launched the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, which aims to reduce the number of fire-related deaths and injuries by 25 percent over the next five years. We’ve already seen this campaign make a lifesaving impact in our community. On October 11th the Mid-South Chapter of the American Red Cross partnered with Hope worldwide, the Memphis Fire Department, the Memphis Police Department, Breath of Life and countless volunteers knock on the doors of over 400 homes in the Frayser community. Together, we checked countless smoke detectors, installed over 40 detectors, replaced batteries in 20 detectors and left behind fire prevention materials for those who were not at home.
Fortunately, most home fires can be prevented. Homeowners should avoid using items that can be hazardous such as candles and space heaters – common items that can turn dangerous very quickly.
To help avoid a fire in the home, there are steps someone can take now:
• Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area, placing them on the ceiling or high on the wall.
• Put a smoke alarm inside every bedroom.
• Test the smoke alarms regularly. Install new batteries every year.
• Get new smoke alarms every ten years.
• Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as sources of heat or stoves.
• Never smoke in bed.
• Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to sleep.
The Red Cross recommends that households develop a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year with everyone who lives in the home. People should know two ways to escape from every room and designate a safe place to meet outside the home in case of a fire. Discuss the plan with everyone in the household and practice until every member of your household – including children – can escape in less than two minutes.
Thank you, in advance, for taking the time to prepare you and your family. For more great tips, you can visit http://www.redcross.org.