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Red Cross Press Release on Fire Prevention Week
This October 7-13, the American Red Cross is helping families and businesses learn how to protect themselves and others from fires in observance of 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. On a local level, 84% of the disasters we responded to in Hawaii last year were single or multi-family fires. 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 Coralie Matayoshi, Chief Executive Officer of the Hawaii State 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.”
Additional recommendations 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
App Store• and on
Visit www.redcross.org/homefires- for additional fire safety tips.
Business, too, should be prepared. Fire is the most common of all business disasters. According to the United State Fire Association, non-residential building fires resulted in $2.4 billion in losses in 2010. Companies, schools and other organizations can learn how to prepare for fires and other emergencies by becoming a member of the Red Cross Ready Rating™ Program at www.readyrating.org
Complete a free, online assessment of your current readiness level and receive customized feedback with tips to improve preparedness.
In addition to helping families and businesses prepare their homes and facilities for potential fires, the Red Cross is there to help those in need when fires break out. The Hawaii State Chapter responded to 72 home fires last year, providing 83 families affected with immediate emergency needs..
“In order to continue responding to disasters like fires at homes and businesses here in Hawaii, the Red Cross depends on the generous support of individuals and businesses in the community,” added Ms. Matayoshi.
The Red Cross is a non-profit humanitarian organization which provides assistance to meet the immediate emergency needs of those affected by disasters. All Red Cross assistance to disaster victims is free. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it depends on public contributions to help others. Your gift supports the lifesaving mission of the American Red Cross in your community, across the country and around the world. To send a contribution, mail your check to:
American Red Cross
Hawaii State Chapter
4155 Diamond Head Road
Honolulu, HI 96816
About American Red Cross, Hawaii State Chapter
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The American Red Cross in Hawaii prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
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