Red Cross leads Fire Prevention Week

Some simple steps can help prevent home fires and save lives, according to the American Red Cross, which is raising awareness this week as part of National Fire Prevention Week.

“People don’t realize just how little time we have to get out of our homes in the case of a fire,” said Lloyd Ziel, Chief Communications and Marketing Officer the for American Red Cross in New Hampshire and Vermont.

“National Fire Prevention Week is a perfect time for residents to learn what (to) do to prevent a fire in their home, and what preparation they should take to ensure everyone in the family knows how to get out.” — Smoke alarm safety:

The Red Cross recommends installing and testing 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 them once a month, change the batteries at least once a year and replace them every 10 years.

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 can escape in less than two minutes.

Use the Red Cross app: The Red Cross emergency app, available at, includes information on how to prevent home fires and what to do if one occurs.

The “Monster Guard” app helps children learn fire safety. Additional information on home fire safety is available at redcross. org/homefires.