Install Smoke Alarms and Create a Fire Escape Plan
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 Steve Hansen, Chapter Executive,“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. Locally, we are responded to fires every single day throughout our region! In each instance, we work with the family to provide a shoulder to lean-on, help them plan a recovery plan and provide immediate basic needs such as providing a safe place to sleep, food to eat, infant supplies, replace medications, etc.
Throughout October, we are collaborating on several local projects including delivering fire prevention door hangers in Campbellsport, Oakfield and North Fond du Lac on October 27th. This is conjunction with the fire departments and the Gannett newspaper Make a Difference Day project. We will also be at the Fox Valley Technical College Convoy of Hope on October 6th from 10:00a.m. to 4:00p.m. and the Kimberly Clark Employee Safety Fair on October 18th. More events are also in planning stages.
“In order to continue responding to disasters like fires at homes and businesses here in throughout the greater Fox Valley and Michigan border communities, the Red Cross depends on the generous support of individuals and businesses in the community,” added Hansen. “To support our on-going prevention and responses, we ask people to make a financial gift to the Red Cross. We make it easy as you can call 800-RED-CROSS, go to redcross.org or text redcross to 90999 to make a $10 donation.