|Install Smoke Alarms and Create a Fire Escape Plan
FRIDAY, OCTOBER 5, 2012 — This October 7-13 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 Red Cross responded to about 63,000 home fires across the country by providing comfort and basic necessities to more than 82,000 families.
“We respond to about one home fire every nine minutes across the country. 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 Linda Carbone, CEO of Florida’s West Coast Region and the Tampa Bay Chapter. “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.redcross.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. Florida’s West Coast Region of the Red Cross responded to 42 home fires during the month of September alone. Since July 1, Red Cross Disaster Action Team members in the region responded to 127 home fires and helped over 500 people with food, shelter and emotional support.
“In order to continue responding to disasters like fires at homes and businesses here in Florida, the Red Cross depends on the generous support of individuals and businesses in the community,” added Carbone. “Donations to help the Red Cross help others and can be made to your local chapter or by donating to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. On those rare occasions when donations exceed Red Cross expenses for a specific disaster, contributions are used to prepare for and serve victims of other disasters.”
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 join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.