Submitted by American Red Cross.
The American Red Cross is encouraging everyone to make their homes safer from the threat of a home fire. This spring, the organization is hosting virtual education sessions to help families in the Northwest Region develop their escape plan and learn about home fire safety.
Since January 1, local Red Cross volunteers have helped more than 500 people with urgent needs like emergency lodging, financial assistance, and recovery planning, following more than 150 home fires throughout the Northwest Region.
“Home fires remain the nation’s most frequent disaster during COVID-19,” said Alex Dieffenbach, Northwest Region CEO.
The Red Cross Home Fire Campaign is working to reduce home fire deaths by teaching fire safety lessons and installing smoke alarms in households that don’t have them. Since launching the campaign in 2014, the Red Cross has helped save at least 849 lives and reach more than 2.3 million people nationwide. This year, due to COVID-19 safety protocols, Red Cross volunteers are hosting virtual education sessions on home fire safety for residents in the Northwest Region.
“The goal is still the same — to save lives,” said Magin Maier, preparedness manager for the Red Cross Northwest Region. “Since we can’t go into homes, we will reach people remotely.”
Each virtual call will last about 30 minutes. Clients will learn about home fire safety topics including the most common causes of home fires, the importance of creating an escape plan, how to test their smoke alarms and how to prepare for an earthquake or wildfire. They will also be offered a free smoke alarm installation once it is safe to do so.
“People don’t realize how quickly a fire can spread,” said Maier. “If there is a real fire, you need to get everyone outside in two minutes or less. That is all the time you have to escape safely.”
Visit redcross.org/nwhomefire for more information, including an escape plan to practice with your family. You can also download the free Red Cross Emergency App (search “American Red Cross” in app stores).