Practice your fire escape, test your alarms

American Red Cross

Oct. 6-12 is National Fire Prevention Week and the American Red Cross Mississippi Region is recommending steps to protect your home and family. 

“During Fire Prevention Week, prepare your family for home fires before the holidays and cold weather increase the risk of these crises,” Cheryl Kocurek, regional preparedness manager for the American Red Cross, said in a statement. “Home fires are most often caused by cooking and heating equipment, and we want everyone to stay safe. Please install and test smoke alarms on every level of your home and practice your escape plan until everyone can get out in two minutes or less.”

The Red Cross recommends testing your alarms and developing an escape plan. 

In your plan:

• Include at least two ways to get out of each room in your home.

• Select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone can meet.

• Practice your escape plan until everyone can get out in two minutes or less.

Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, placing them inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas.

Test smoke alarms monthly, and change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it.

For free home fire safety resources, visit redcross.org/homefires or download the free Red Cross Emergency App (search “American Red Cross” in app stores). 

Over the past five years the American Red Cross Mississippi Region and local partners have, according to a news release:

• Installed 26,000 free smoke alarms.

• Reached 5,400 children through youth preparedness programs.

• Made more than 10,000 households safer from the threat of home fires.

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