October 27, 2016
Kristen Binau, Regional Disaster Officer, American Red Cross NH & VT Region
603-889-6664 ext. 234
Vermont Division of Fire Safety and American Red Cross Urge People to Take Steps to Protect Their Families, and Prevent Home Fires
National Fire Prevention Week is a perfect time to talk with your family about preparedness and safety
Burlington, VT –The Vermont Division of Fire Safety and The American Red Cross are asking every household in America to take some simple steps that can help prevent home fires and save lives.
“Home fires can be a deadly threat because they happen so quickly,” said Maria Devlin, Regional CEO of the American Red Cross in New Hampshire and Vermont. “National Fire Prevention Week is a perfect time for people from our region to learn what they should do to prevent a fire in their home.”
“Time and time again we see the lifesaving impact smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms play in home fires. We also see the devastating loss of life when smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are missing or inoperable“ said Michael Desrochers, Executive Director of the Department of Public Safety’s Division of Fire Safety.
Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms have expiration dates, the life of those alarms varies, but none exceed 10 years from date of manufacture, so please check the date on the back of the alarm and replace if necessary.
INSTALL AND TEST SMOKE ALARMS: Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half:
- 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 ten years.
INSTALL AND TEST CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS: A working carbon monoxide alarm(s) is the only way to detect the “silent killer” because carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and toxic.
· Place carbon monoxide alarms on each floor level and in the immediate vicinity of sleeping rooms and install alarms in sleeping rooms containing heating appliances.
· Test alarms monthly.
· Change your battery as recommended by the manufacturer.
MAKE A PLAN People may only have two minutes to escape when a fire occurs. 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
DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross Emergency App includes content on how to prevent home fires and what to do if one occurs. Parents can download the Monster Guard App to help their children learn what to do and how to protect themselves. Both apps can be downloaded for free in app stores or by going to redcross.org/apps
JOIN THE RED CROSS HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN The American Red Cross and partners across the country have set a goal to install 45,000 smoke alarms in homes during the month of October as part of the ongoing Red Cross Home Fire Campaign. The multi-year campaign kicked off in October of 2014 with a goal to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent during the five years of the campaign. Working with fire departments and community groups across the entire country, the Red Cross installs smoke alarms in homes in neighborhoods at high risk for home fires. In the last two years, more than half a million smoke alarms have been installed as part of the Home Fire Campaign.
Smoke alarms are available to anyone who needs them. To schedule a free smoke alarm installation, make your appointment at http://www.redcross.org/local/new-hampshire-vermont/in-home-smoke-alarm or call 1-800-464-6692.
People can join the Red Cross effort to save lives, reduce injuries and cut down on needless losses from home fires by making a financial donation to the Home Fire Campaign by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800 REDCROSS or texting FIRE to 90999. Their gift to Home Fires enables the Red Cross to provide critical services to people impacted by home fires along with the lifesaving tools and information to support home fire prevention efforts. People can also help by becoming a Red Cross volunteer.
Additional information on home fire safety and the Home Fire Campaign is available at redcross.org/homefires. The Red Cross also partners with a wide variety of partners that support the Fire is Everyone's Fight initiative to work together and reduce home fire deaths and injuries.
Additional information on home fire safety and fire safety in general is available at the Division of Fire Safety home page located at http://firesafety.vermont.gov
In New Hampshire and Vermont, a family is displaced by a disaster – most usually a home fire, on average, every 17 hours. You can help people affected by disasters like home fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit redcross.org/NHVT, call 1-800-464-6692, or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
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 cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.