It’s Fire Prevention Week! Across the country, people will be checking smoke alarms, reviewing home fire safety plans, and helping others be more prepared for fire emergencies at home. Sponsored by the National Fire Prevention Association, Fire Prevention Week aims to increase public health and safety by reducing home fire hazards and the number of injuries and deaths that home fires cause each year. This year’s theme, “Working smoke alarms save lives. Test yours every month!” touches on an important reality few know about: nearly two-thirds of home fire deaths happen where there’s no working smoke alarm (Source: NFPA.org). And, a working smoke alarm cuts the number of home fire deaths in half!
The American Red Cross knows this reality more than most because every 8 minutes its disaster relief volunteers respond to a fire somewhere across the country. The majority of the 70,000 disasters that the Red Cross responds to each year are home fires. So, we encourage everyone to take steps this week to improve their home fire preparedness. Reach out to vulnerable adults and others in your neighborhoods and help them Be Red Cross Ready, too. In addition to helpful resources from the NFPA, the Red Cross has tools available for personal use and for sharing with others, including this Home_Fire_Safety_Checklist in English and Spanish. Together, we can prevent home fire deaths and make our communities safer.