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Special to the Herald Times
RBC | The American Red Cross is asking every household in America to take some simple steps that can help prevent home fires and save lives.
“Home fires can be a deadly threat because they happen so quickly,” said Gino Greco, CEO for the Red Cross of Colorado and Wyoming. “National Fire Prevention Week is a perfect time for Colorado and Wyoming residents to learn what they should do to prevent, or respond to, a fire in their home.”
Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half:
– Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms.
– Test smoke alarms once a month.
– Change the batteries at least once a year—if your model requires it.
– Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
People may only have two minutes to escape when a fire occurs. The Red Cross recommends that households develop a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year. Everyone 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 all household members and practice it until everyone—including children—can escape in less than two minutes
The Red Cross Emergency App includes content on how to prevent home fires and what to do if one occurs. Parents can download the Monster Guard App to help their children learn what to do and how to protect themselves. Both apps can be downloaded for free in app stores or by going to redcross.org/apps.
The American Red Cross and partners across the country have set a goal to install 45,000 smoke alarms in homes during the month of October as part of the ongoing Red Cross Home Fire Campaign. The multi-year campaign kicked off in October 2014, with a goal to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent during the five years of the campaign. Working with fire departments and community groups across the entire country, the Red Cross installs smoke alarms in homes in neighborhoods at high risk for home fires. In the last two years, more than half a million smoke alarms have been installed as part of the Home Fire Campaign.
People can join the Red Cross effort to save lives, reduce injuries and cut down on needless losses from home fires by making a financial donation to the Home Fire Campaign by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800 REDCROSS or texting FIRE to 90999. Their gift to Home Fires enables the Red Cross to provide critical services to people impacted by home fires along with the lifesaving tools and information to support home fire prevention efforts. People can also help by becoming a Red Cross volunteer.
Additional information on home fire safety and the Home Fire Campaign is available at redcross.org/homefires. The Red Cross also partners with a wide variety of partners that support the Fire is Everyone’s Fight initiative to work together and reduce home fire deaths and injuries.