Efforts include installing smoke alarms and teaching fire escape plans in Somerville
Cambridge, MA, Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2016 – The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign continues in Somerville, MA and across the country to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires by as much as 25 percent over the next five years.
Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire. The Red Cross campaign focuses on joining fire departments and community groups nationwide to install smoke alarms in communities with high numbers of fires and encouraging everyone to practice their fire escape plans.
The Red Cross will be installing free photoelectric smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors in Somerville on Saturday, September 24, 2016 starting at 9 a.m. in single family homes that need them, and will teach residents about what they can do now to be prepared should a fire break out in their home. This event will be conducted by the Red Cross Metro Home Fire Campaign task force.
If you are a Somerville homeowner in a single family home built before 1975 and would like the Red Cross to install free photoelectric smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors on September 24, please call the Red Cross Metro Home Fire Campaign office at 800-746-3511.
SIMPLE STEPS TO SAVE LIVES. Even as the Red Cross and other groups install smoke alarms in some neighborhoods, they are calling on everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home.
There are several things families and individuals can do to increase their chances of surviving a fire:
• 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. Local building codes vary and there may be additional requirements where someone lives.
• If someone does have alarms, test them today. If they don’t work, replace them.
• Make sure that 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.
• Practice that plan. What’s the household’s escape time?
2015 SURVEY RESULTS Many of those surveyed (41 percent) feel confident they can get out of a burning home in under two minutes. And most parents (64 percent) believe their children would know what to do if a fire occurred.
However, many of these families admitted they didn’t take key steps to help keep their family safe. Only about half of the parents surveyed (52 percent) talked to their families about fire safety. Only 10 percent of families have actually practiced home fire drills. And only about a quarter of families (24 percent) have identified a safe place where family members can meet outside the home.
The survey also shows that Americans are engaging in unsafe behaviors that could result in home fires. More than a third of those surveyed (36 percent) admitted using candles when the power goes out instead of flashlights. And despite cooking being the leading cause of home fires, one in five (17 percent) have left cooking food unattended on the stove.
RED CROSS APPS People can learn how to help prevent a home fire and what to do if one occurs by downloading the Red Cross Emergency App. They can use the app’s Family Safe feature to help stay in touch with loved ones. Children can earn points and incentives in a fun, gaming environment while learning how to prevent a home fire and other emergencies in the Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies App. The First Aid App provides expert advice including what to do for burns, broken bones, and breathing and cardiac emergencies. The apps can be downloaded for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.
WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO People can visit redcross.org/homefires to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire. To find the location of smoke alarm installation events or to become a volunteer, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. People can 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. We respond to nearly 70,000 other disasters every year, from home fires to wildfires and more. Learn more about how Disaster Relief donations have helped people affected by previous disasters including home fires.
The national public opinion survey was conducted for the Red Cross July 27-29, 2015 using ORC International’s Online CARAVAN omnibus survey. The study was conducted among a national sample of 1,130 American adults, including 311 parents of children aged 3-17. The total sample is balanced to be representative of the US adult population in terms of age, sex, geographic region, race and education. The margin of error for the total sample of 1,130 adults is +/- 2.92 percent. The margin of error for the sample of 311 parents is +/- 5.56 percent.
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.