Red Cross fire campaign saving lives

In just one year, the American Red Cross’ nationwide Home Fire Campaign is credited with saving at least 26 lives.

More than 63,000 families are safer thanks to the smoke alarms and safety education they received in their homes from Red Cross volunteers, firefighters and other community partners. And more than 311,000 children have learned to be safer in emergencies from Red Cross volunteers and apps.

“In this country, seven people lose their lives every day from a home fire,” said Patty Flowers, regional chapter executive for the Red Cross. “Even one death from a home fire is tragic. Over the next few years, the Home Fire Campaign will keep on going to help protect people and prepare them for emergencies like a fire in their home.”

Throughout Wisconsin, the Red Cross and its partners achieved the following in this first year of the Home Fire Campaign:

n installed 1,066 smoke alarms; n campaign partners included multiple fire departments, United Ways, Kohler, Steamfitters Union, Emergency Management, HOPE Worldwide, Northstar Cleaning & Restoration, Paul Davis Restoration, neighborhood associations, church and civic groups, to name a few;

n our goal is to install 2,500 more smoke alarms between July 1, 2015 and June 30, 2016;

n dozens of additional installation events are being planned.

People of all ages are vulnerable to home fires. During the course of this campaign, the lives saved included a two-month-old baby, a 73-year-old grandmother, and 11 members of an extended New Orleans family by new smoke alarms that the Red Cross and its partners installed.

The Home Fire Campaign is a multiyear effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. Working alongside fire departments and community groups across the country, the Red Cross and its partners have installed more than 125,000 smoke alarms in nearly 2,400 cities and towns.

Launched across the country in October 2014, the Red Cross and more than 1,900 local partners and 40 national partners have:

n saved 26 lives in six states (Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Louisiana, South Dakota and Texas);

n installed more than 125,000 smoke alarms in nearly 2,400 cities and towns;

n reached more than 485,000 people with safety information, including more than 311,000 youths;

n visited more than 63,000 homes, 50 states and three territories.

Key supporters include local fire departments, state fire marshals, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC), Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), U. S. Fire Administration (USFA), National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), Rebuilding Together, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, Meals on Wheels America, Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA), Vision 20/20, Project Paradigm, Hope Worldwide, Habitat for Humanity, Portlight Strategies, Inc., and Lott Carey.

It is estimated that someone may have only two minutes to get out after a fire starts in their home. As part of the campaign, the Red Cross is also asking every household in America to take two simple steps that can save lives—check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. Every family should develop a fire escape plan, and practice it.

People can visit redcross.orgto find

out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire or contact their local Red Cross to find out about smoke alarm installation events in their community. They can also help by volunteering their time or making a donation today 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. The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 other disasters every year, from home fires to hurricanes and more. Learn more about how Disaster Relief donations have helped people affected by previous disasters including home fires.

For more information about all that the Red Cross does please visit redcross.orgor visit the organization on Twitter at @ RedCross.