The American Red Cross is encouraging everyone to be extra aware of fire hazards in the home during Oct. 7-13 during National Fire Prevention Week.
Last year, the Red Cross responded to about 63,000 home fires across the country by providing comfort and basic necessities to more than 82,000 families.
"We respond to about one home fire every nine minutes across the country. The best thing you can do to protect your loved ones is to install a smoke alarm and develop and practice a fire escape plan," said Linda Carbone, CEO of
Florida's West Coast Region and the Tampa Bay chapter. "Fires can spread very quickly, so everyone at home, school and work should know what to do when they hear the sound of a smoke alarm."
Other tips include:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of the house and inside bedrooms.
- Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Test each alarm monthly by pushing the test button.
- Ensure that household members know two ways to escape from every room and designate a place to meet outside of your house in case of a fire. Practice your plan at least twice a year.
- Follow your escape plan in case of fire. Get out, stay out and call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
- Download the American Red Cross First Aid app to get access to life-saving information on what to do for common, everyday first aid emergencies. The app is available in the Apple App Store and on Google Play for Android.
Visit www.redcross.org/homefires for additional fire safety tips.