Fire Safety Tip from Tori: Blow Out Candles at Bedtime

I love the holidays! Every night at our house candles glow, the Christmas tree sparkles, and I dream of my first white Christmas. But, a forgotten burning candle can cause a devastating fire. So at bedtime, my mom and I make sure every candle is out. Because even though candles are beautiful,  they can also be dangerous.

Candle fires are four times as likely to occur during the winter holidays. Make sure no candles are burning when you go to bed.

Be safe this holiday season.

IMG_3468

A Timely Initiative

Two separate home fires have claimed the lives of two children, a woman, four dogs and a cat in just two days in the Sacramento area.  A reality that is more common during this time of year as temperatures drop.

The American Red Cross has partnered with the Sacramento Metro Fire and Sacramento City Fire Departments to offer free smoke alarm installations to residents in the 17 Sacramento neighborhoods this weekend.

On Saturday, volunteers from the Red Cross and partner organizations will be going door to door, offering free smoke alarm installations in one- and two-family homes that need them. They plan to stop at more than 1000 households.

“While our hope is that no family ever has to experience a fire, we know the reality is that fires happen and we want our residents to be prepared,” said Gary Strong, CEO of the American Red Cross Gold Country Region. “This program will ensure that Sacramento residents have working smoke detectors and are educated on how they can best be prepared in the event of a fire in their home.”

The Red Cross launched the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign last year, a nationwide initiative to reduce fire deaths by about 25 percent over five years. Since then 26 lives have been saved in six states and more than 125,000 smoke alarms have been installed in nearly 2,400 cities and towns.

Volunteers will be in uniform on Saturday distributing fire safety information and speaking with families about how they can be prepared if a fire breaks outs.

The American Red Cross Gold Country region is always recruiting volunteers for future canvassing events; the next one is scheduled for January 16, 2016.

firstalert-B000GEC1P2-SA340CN-main-lgHere are some Smoke Alarm Recommendations from the United States Fire Administration:

  • The United States Fire Administration recommends that every residence should be equipped with dual sensor alarms, or a combination of ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms.
  • An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires, whereas a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally better at detecting smoldering fires.
  • The National Fire Protection Association recommends that smoke alarms should be located at least 10 feet away from cooking appliances in order to avoid nuisance alarms. In general, photoelectric alarms are better suited for these areas.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
  • Non-Lithium powered smoke alarms should be tested monthly and have their batteries replaced yearly, or as soon as a low-battery warning is signaled.
  • Smoke alarms should be kept clean by vacuuming over and around them regularly.
  • Never remove the battery or disable a smoke alarm. If an alarm sounds while cooking or taking a shower, press the “hush” button and open a nearby door or window. You can also wave a towel in front of the unit to help clear the air.
  • If your smoke alarm is sounding “nuisance alarms,” try locating it further away from kitchens and bathrooms.
  • All smoke alarms should be replaced after ten years of use.

 

In One Year: Red Cross and Partners Save 26 Lives, Install Smoke Alarms in all 50 States

m53840110_HFC_one_year_stat_households

In just one year, the American Red Cross’ nationwide Home Fire Campaign is credited with saving at least 28 lives.

More than 63,000 families are safer thanks to the smoke alarms and safety education they received in their homes from Red Cross volunteers, firefighters and other community partners. And more than 311,000 children have learned to be safer in emergencies from Red Cross volunteers and apps.

“In this country, seven people lose their lives every day from a home fire,” said Lilly Wyatt, Spokesperson for the American Red Cross Gold Country Region.  “Even one death from a home fire is tragic. Over the next few years, the Home Fire Campaign will keep on going to help protect people and prepare them for emergencies like a fire in their home.”

Here in the Gold Country Region, the Red Cross and its partners achieved the following in this first year of the Home Fire Campaign:
·         Conducted 2,235 in-home visits.

·         Installed more than 1,192 smoke alarms.

·         Replaces 348 smoke alarm batteries.

·         Created 839 evacuation plans.

·         Reached XXX youth with preparedness information.

·         Visited 27 cities and towns in our region.

NATIONWIDE EFFORT

People of all ages are vulnerable to home fires. During the course of this campaign, the lives saved included a two-month-old baby, a 73-year-old grandmother, and 11 members of an extended New Orleans family by new smoke alarms that the Red Cross and our partners installed.

The Home Fire Campaign is a multi-year effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. Working alongside fire departments and community groups across the country, the Red Cross and its partners have installed more than 125,000 smoke alarms in nearly 2,400 cities and towns.

Launched across the country in October 2014, the Red Cross and more than 1,900 local partners and 40 national partners have:

  • Saved 26 lives in six states (Georgia, Indiana, Ohio, Louisiana, South Dakota and Texas)
  • Installed more than 125,000 smoke alarms in nearly 2,400 cities and towns
  • Reached more than 485,000 people with safety information, including more than 311,000 youth
  • Visited more than 63,000 homes 50 states and 3 territories

Key supporters include: local fire departments, state fire marshals, International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC); Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA); United States Fire Administration (USFA); National Fire Protection Association (NFPA); Rebuilding Together; Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation; Meals on Wheels America; Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS); National Council on Independent Living (NCIL); Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA); Vision 20/20; Project Paradigm; Hope worldwide; Habitat for Humanity; Portlight Strategies, Inc.; and Lott Carey.

TWO MINUTES TO ESCAPE

It is estimated that someone may have only two minutes to get out after a fire starts in their home. As part of the campaign, the Red Cross is also asking every household in America to take two simple steps that can save lives: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. Every family should develop a fire escape plan, and practice it.

GET INVOLVED People can visit redcross.org to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire or contact their local Red Cross to find out about smoke alarm installation events in their community. They can also help by volunteering their time or making a donation today to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. We respond to nearly 70,000 other disasters every year, from home fires to hurricanes and more. Learn more about how Disaster Relief donations have helped people affected by previous disasters including home fires.

.

American Red Cross to host fire safety programs in Sacramento

The American Red Cross invites volunteers to participate in the nationwide smoke alarm installation and Home Fire Safety Education initiative, to be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. December 5 in 17 Sacramento neighborhoods.

Participants must be 13 or older and are asked to bring a battery-operated drill, a Philips-head screwdriver and a step ladder. Teams of five will work on smoke alarm installation, home fire safety education, data collection and neighborhood canvassing.

Register to volunteer at http://bit.ly/Goal1000 . The deadline to sign up to volunteer is November 20, 2015.image6

For more information visit: www.redcross.org/GoldCountry.

Hidden Dangers in Fall Decorations (And Other Fall Fire Safety Tips!)

By Sarah Layton

I didn’t make it 30 feet into Jo-Ann Fabric before stopping at a shelf.

FallDecor“50 percent off decorative pumpkins and it’s not even November yet?” I said partially to myself, partially to make a case to my begrudging husband who had accompanied me craft shopping earlier this season. That pumpkin, made of twigs and festooned with ribbon, is now a perfect addition to my kitchen island.Aforementioned twig and leaf decor.

CANDLES

Candle

Guess what else is on my kitchen island — a candle. A yummy smelling, frequently-lit candle. Even though it may not be the ideal arrangement, that pumpkin now stays three feet from the heat. Just as any item in your home should stay three feet from heat sources, including your stove, a space heater and all candles.

If your expertly carved pumpkin has survived Halloween and you can’t resist using a real candle to make it shine, make sure the candle gets blown out when you can’t monitor it, especially when you leave your home. To light the candle, use something that will keep your appendages safe, such as a long fireplace lighter. Fun fact: My family used to deploy dry spaghetti noodles for our pumpkin-lighting purposes.

LIGHTS

Fall Lights

Are you the proud household with gigantic spiders on your roof and orange lights illuminating every window? Maybe an inflatable turkey or two in the yard? My apartment has been reduced to one string of lights in our picture window, but even with that we are super careful to unplug them every time we leave the house.

Always remember to turn off any running electric appliances before you leave home, blow out candles and unplug fire hazards such as lights that might get too hot. Especially if they are near those new curtains you spent so much money on…

LEAVES

little-girl-in-fall-leaves

Toddler Sarah in leaf pile. Photo credit: Sarah’s mom.While I may think the piles of leaves in my yard are super festive fall decor on a grandiose scale, I understand some people out there collect leaves from their yards and dispose of them. (So many leaf pile jumping missed opportunities. But I digress). If your household is serious about leaf collection, here’s how you can also be serious about fire hazards when you dispose of them:

Use caution when burning leaves – Clear leaves away from the home and other buildings. Burn leaves only when permitted and in accordance with local laws and guidelines. Use extreme caution to ensure safety and control of the fire.

Prepare your home – Select building materials and plants that resist fire. Regularly clean your roof and gutters to remove flammable debris. Identify and maintain an adequate water source outside your home.

Gather firefighting tools – Set aside household items that can be used as firefighting tools: rake, ax, bucket, shovel, etc. You may need to fight a fire before emergency responders arrive.

ROASTING YOUR DECOR

Pumpkin

Raise your hand if the pumpkins and gourds scattered strategically around your home are soon to be chopped up for roasted fall treats. I didn’t even carve my pumpkin this year, so it’s a perfect candidate for yummy toasted seeds. Knowing the majority of home fires start in the kitchen, I always have the Red Cross cooking safety tips in mind:

Stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If you leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.

Stay in the home while simmering, baking, roasting or boiling food. Check it regularly and use a timer to remind you that food is cooking.

Keep anything that can catch fire—like pot holders, towels, plastic and clothing— away from the stove.

Keep pets off cooking surfaces and countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.

Remember, we have plenty of other fire safety tips on redcross.org, as part of the Home Fire Campaign. Stay tuned for more holiday, cooking and heat-related information to keep your family safe this fall and winter!

 

The Heat is On! (Again) – Safety Reminders

With a heat wave upon us, Red Cross has Tips to keep safe during extreme heat

Since summer’s clearly sticking around for the time being, this is a good time to refresh your memory of what you should do in a heat wave. The American Red Cross has some simple steps you can take to keep you and your kids safe.

icedogDuring a Heat Wave:

  • Never leave children or pets alone in enclosed vehicles
  • Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids, even if you do not feel thirsty. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol
  • Avoid extreme temperature changes
  • Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays
  • Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day
  • Postpone outdoor games and activities
  • Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if you must work outdoors
  • Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat
  • Check on your animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat

heat and sportsSports Safety
The return to school means many student athletes will be outside for practice. But during a heat wave, athletes should avoid workouts and exercise during the hottest times of the day—these should be scheduled for early in the day or later in the evening. Other ways to stay safe include:

  • Get acclimated to the heat by reducing the intensity of your workouts or exercise until you are more accustomed to the heat
  • Take frequent, longer breaks. Stop about every 20 minutes for fluids and try to stay in the shade
  • Those in charge of student practices should reduce the amount of heavy equipment athletes wear in extremely hot weather
  • Dress athletes in net-type jerseys or light-weight, light-colored cotton tee shirts and shorts
  • Know the signs of heat-related emergencies and monitor athletes closely
  • Athletes should inform those in charge if they are not feeling well

FIRST AID APP Could you tell if someone were suffering from heat exhaustion or heat stroke? Would you know how to respond? The American Red Cross First Aid App puts that information at your fingertips, helping you prepare and respond to heat emergencies and other events. Available for iPhone and Android devices, the free First Aid App gives you instant access to the information you need to know to handle the most common first aid emergencies. It also features videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice. Download the app from the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android or go to http://www.redcross.org/mobileapps.

Learn how to treat heat-related and other emergencies by taking First Aid and CPR/AED training online or in person. Go to http://www.redcross.org/take-a-class for information and to register.

Download the Red Cross Heat Wave Safety Checklist at http://rdcrss.org/1NpU79T 

Dakota Bradley Named Ambassador for Red Cross Fire Mission

After losing his childhood home in a house fire at the age of 15, singer/songwriter Dakota Bradley has a personal connection to those who know all too well what the fire takes from people.  Growing up in St. Louis, MO, Bradley moved to Nashville, TN at the age of 16 after his family lost everything in a house fire. This life-changing experience is the inspiration behind Bradley’s passion to partner with the American Red Cross and to serve as an Ambassador for our home fire campaign to reduce fire deaths and injuries by 25%.

“Losing my home in a fire was devastating. I am honored to partner with the American Red Cross in hopes to prevent similar tragedies, as well as a way to help fire victims,” says Bradley.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/o6cAgtjmccA“>

To kick off the yearlong giving campaign, Bradley will donate $0.50 to the American Red Cross for every digital purchase of “Name On It” sold between now and September 30, 2015. You can download his new single by visiting iTunes.  Your gift to Home Fire Relief enables the Red Cross to provide critical services to people impacted by home fires along with the lifesaving tools and information to support home fire prevention efforts.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/4k44KSPjcUs“>