Red Cross Urges Preparedness During Home Fire Prevention Week

| October 8, 2018

WESTERN PENNSYLVANIA – Seven times each day, someone in the United States dies in a home fire.

According to the National Fire Prevention Association, cooking fires account for 47% of home fires (20% of fire-related deaths), followed by heating equipment fires at 15% (19% of fire-related deaths) and electrical fires at 9% (18% of fire-related deaths).

For the past several years, the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign has sought to reduce the number of home fire-related deaths and injuries through the installation of free smoke alarms and the dissemination of fire safety information to residents in communities throughout our country. Thus far, we have installed over 1.4 million free smoke alarms and have reached 1.6 million people in nearly 14,000 communities!

To mark Home Fire Prevention Week, which begins on October 7, the Red Cross urges everyone to take these lifesaving steps:

  • Develop a fire escape plan in your household and practice it at least twice per year.
  • Install smoke alarms on every level and outside of each sleeping area in your home. Test them monthly and replace the batteries at least once per year if required. Be sure to replace smoke alarms that are more than ten years old.
  • Teach children what smoke alarms sound like and what they should do if they hear one.
  • Make sure all household members know two ways to escape from every room.
  • Establish a family meeting spot outside.

“Home fires – no matter the size – are devastating,” commented Dan Tobin, American Red Cross Greater Pennsylvania Region Director of Marketing and Communication. “When a home fire strikes, you have only two minutes to safely escape. Working smoke alarms and home fire escape plans can literally mean the difference between life and death should a home fire occur.”

More information on home fire safety can be found at

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