Red Cross Sound the Alarm Program Focuses on Preparing Families for Home Fires
In the middle of their Sound the Alarm campaign to heighten awareness about fire safety in homes, volunteers for the American Red Cross (redcross.org/smokealarmNE) found themselves tending to the needs of residents affected by nine single-home fires in Nebraska during just the first weekend in May. The busy weekend of helping households recover from the fires sounded the alarm, indeed, about the need for fire-safety education in the state. Through its Sound the Alarm campaign, the American Red Cross is employing targeted outreach with community partners to connect—mostly virtually—with families to provide education about fire safety.
For starters, the Red Cross finds that most people don’t realize that they have just two minutes to escape a home fire. The Red Cross recommends that families take two simple steps to be safe: Create an escape plan; and regularly test smoke alarms. Escape plans should include two ways out of each room of the home to outside. Plans should also include a meeting point that is a safe distance from the home. Smoke alarms should be located on each level of your home and tested by pressing the test button. If you hear three beeps, the alarm is working. If not, it is time to change the batteries. If your smoke alarm is more than 10 years old, it is time to get a new alarm, and if you do not have working smoke alarms currently installed, request free smoke alarms and installation via redcross.org/smokealarmNE.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds, and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. For more information about their fire safety program, visit redcross.org/sound-the-alarm or follow them on Facebook and Twitter (@NEIARedCross).