The American Red Cross is asking every household in America to take some simple steps that can help prevent home fires and save lives. National Fire Prevention Week, running Oct. 8-14, is a perfect time for everyone to learn what they can do to prevent a fire in their home, and the Red Cross has free resources available to help.
On average, 7 people die and 36 people suffer injuries every day from a home fire in the United States. Fire experts agree that you may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. That’s why having a working smoke alarm on every level of your household is so important. It will help provide the earliest possible warning. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half.
Install and test smoke alarms
- Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms
- Test smoke alarms once a month
- Change the batteries at least once a year (if your model requires it)
- Replace smoke alarms every 10 years
The Red Cross recommends that households develop a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year. Everyone should know two ways to escape from every room and designate a safe place to meet outside the home in case of a fire. Discuss the plan with all household members and practice it until everyone – including children – can escape in less than two minutes. These tips and more are available at redcross.org/homefires.