Home Fire Safety
The American Red Cross has committed itself to reducing the number of home fire injuries and deaths by launching a nationwide smoke alarm install program. This weekend, December 13, Red Cross volunteers will be in Missoula and Roundup neighborhoods, installing free smoke alarms for homeowners. Read the full news release below, provided by Anna Fernandez-Gevaert, Regional Communications Director.
The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters a year – one every eight minutes – and most are home fires. 65 percent of all fire-related deaths occur in homes that have no functioning smoke alarms, yet a recent Red Cross survey found that 40 percent of people have lived in a home with no smoke alarm and 20 percent have disabled a smoke alarm because of nuisance beeping or flashing lights.
“We know smoke alarms cut the risk of death from a fire in half,” says David Kunzelman, Disaster Program Manager for the American Red Cross of Montana. “That is why the Red Cross is working with other local organizations to make smoke alarms available to some of Missoula’s most vulnerable residents.”
The Red Cross wants additional organizations to join in this important effort. “We hope to create a large coalition of partners to help bring fire safety to the people of Montana,” explains Kunzelman. “There is an urgent need to get this information out and Red Cross welcomes other organizations who want to participate in this important effort.”
Many Americans also have a false sense of security about surviving a fire. The Red Cross survey shows that people mistakenly believe they have more time than they really do to escape a burning home. While fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out, most Americans (62 percent) think they have at least five minutes to escape and nearly 18 percent believe they have ten minutes or more to evacuate.
For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information, visit redcross.org/homefires.
You can help people affected by disasters like home fires, as well as countless other crises at home and around the world, by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for and provide shelter, food, emotional support and other assistance in response to disasters. To make a donation, go to www.redcross.org/montana.
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.