ST. GEORGE — A fire on April 13 in Enoch that killed three family members and two family pets has struck a chord when it comes to fire safety and fire prevention.
When the Red Cross responds to a home fire, it is often reported that there were no smoke alarms. These facts tell a disturbing story:
- Seven people die every day in house fires and dozens sustain some form of injury
- The Red Cross responds to 70,000 house fires per year
- The vast majority of Americans have no fire evacuation plan and many have no smoke alarms
- Residents in a house fire have as little as two minutes to evacuate
While it is not known whether there were smoke alarms in last month’s fatal fire in Enoch, what is known is that smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire by 50 percent.
The good news is that the Red Cross, nationally and in Utah, is doing something about this through the Home Fire Campaign launched in October. By canvassing neighborhoods across the country, and performing services like installing free smoke alarms, the Red Cross seeks to reduce home fire fatalities by 25 percent, and the plan is working. The latest national stats are in:
- Lives saved: 13
- Smoke alarms installed: more than 50,000
- Batteries replaced: more than 8,700
- Evacuation and preparedness plans made: 23,000
Clearly, these efforts are making a difference, and the local Red Cross in conjunction with Washington Fire Department intends to make Southern Utah safer as well with these upcoming Home Fire Canvassing events.
The Home Fire Campaign is an ongoing multiyear initiative. The goal in Utah is 1,000 alarms installed by the end of June with another 2,000 to come over the ensuing months.
Volunteers (both individual and corporate) are welcome, as is financial support.
- To volunteer for an upcoming event contact Justine Jennings at firstname.lastname@example.org or telephone 801-323-7022.
- To donate or find out how a business can “adopt” an upcoming campaign, contact email@example.com or telephone 801-323-7015.
- Use hashtag #GiveWhatFireTakes
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