Working Smoke Alarms Cut the Risk of Dying from a Home Fire in Half
RALEIGH, NC, MARCH 6, 2018 – Daylight Saving Time is this weekend and the American Red Cross reminds everyone to TEST the batteries in their smoke alarms as they TURN their clocks ahead an hour.
“A disaster like a home fire can happen anywhere, at any time. We urge people to take preparedness steps now so they know what to do should an emergency occur,” said Barry Porter, regional CEO of the Red Cross of Eastern NC.
• Check smoke alarm batteries. Test smoke alarms once a month. Change the batteries at least once a year – if your model requires it. Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms.
• Install smoke alarms. If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Check local building codes for additional requirements.
• Practice an escape plan. Make sure everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.
• Get a kit. Keep disaster supplies in an easy-to-carry bag to use in case ordered to evacuate.
• Make a plan. Have all household members plan what steps they should take if an emergency occurs.
• Be informed. Learn what emergencies can occur in the area and how officials notify residents should a disaster occur.
RED CROSS APPS People can download the all-inclusive Red Cross Emergency app which combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep the user safe. And there is a special mobile app - Monster Guard - designed for kids, teaching them to prepare for emergencies at home by playing an engaging game. Users can find the apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.
HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire. The Red Cross has been working to reduce that number through its Home Fire Campaign, a multi-year effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. Launched in October of 2014, the Red Cross and thousands of campaign partners have helped save many lives through the effort, as well as installing 1.1 million smoke alarms in homes all across the country. Here in the Eastern NC region, the Red Cross installed more than 7,400 smoke alarms in fiscal year 2017.
WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO People can visit redcross.org/homefires to learn how to protect themselves and their loved ones from fire. They can become a Red Cross volunteer by visiting redcross.org/volunteer. They can also help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.
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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.