“We are in the high-risk time of year for home fires and we urge
everyone to take a few minutes today to check their smoke alarm
batteries and practice your home escape plan with your family,” said
Betsy Pratt, Regional Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross
Central and Southern Illinois Region. “Having working smoke alarms
and an escape plan are the two more important things you can do to
increase your chance of surviving a home fire.”
The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign is a nationwide initiative
to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent
by the end of 2019. As part of this campaign, the American Red Cross
in conjunction with local fire departments and community partners is
installing free smoke alarms and assisting residents with creating a
home fire escape plan. If you need smoke alarms for your home,
please contact the American Red Cross at (309) 677-7272 and press
“9” or online at getasmokealarm.org.
Here are six ways you can stay safe during this winter season:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside
bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Test the batteries in your smoke alarms once a month, and
change them if they’re not working.
- Create an escape plan that includes two exits from each room
and practice it until everyone in your household can get out in
less than two minutes.
- Follow the “three feet” rule and keep children, pets and
flammable items at least three feet from heating equipment. Turn
off portable space heaters when you leave the room and when you
go to sleep.
- Use gas wisely and never use a cooking range or oven to heat
your home. Four percent of Americans admit to having used a gas
stove to heat their home.
- Use flashlights, not candles because battery-operated
flashlights or lanterns are safer than candles during power
[to top of second
Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths, and the risk
of home fires increases in colder weather. With the onset of winter across the
country, it is more important than ever to be vigilant when it comes to personal
safety and staying warm this winter.
The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to assist
people affected by disasters. If you would like to help, please consider making
a donation today by visiting www.redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or
texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Contributions may
also be sent to your local Red Cross chapter or to the American Red Cross, P.O.
Box 37243, Washington, DC 20013.
[Trish Burnett, Regional
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.