Red Cross never sleeps

Is your family as safe as you think they are?

Do you know the greatest disaster risk to families in your neighborhood?

Believe it or not, it’s home fires.

Do you know the key steps to minimize your risk of this disaster? Your local American Red Cross stands ready to offer prevention and, if necessary, assistance should a home fire occur.

Sudden, and often catastrophic, house fires can devastate in minutes. Home fires are the biggest disaster threat Americans face. During the winter months, there is a dramatic upswing in the number of fires that plague central Pennsylvania families.

In one week this month in central PA, the American Red Cross responded to 33 fires, far exceeding the year-round average of eight fires per week. Last year, throughout central Pennsylvania, the Red Cross responded to more than 457 fires in out communities.

During the “Fire HurtsRed Cross Helps” awareness campaign, the American Red Cross is urging central Pennsylvania residents to take some simple steps to help minimize the risk for this type of devastating disaster:

n Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside of sleeping areas; check them monthly by pressing the test button.

n Create a fire escape plan, identifying two escape routes from every room of your home, and designate a meeting place a short distance from the home where family members can meet should they be separated during a fire.

n Practice your escape plan at least twice a year, paying particular attention to children or older adults who may require extra time and care.

For more information on how to minimize your risk of home fires, I encourage you to visit Taking steps to preventing a home fire help to minimize their risk, but should one occur the Red Cross is ready to respond to help. But in order for the Red Cross to maintain readiness and help those in need, we need your support.

Mike Murphy

Chair of Volunteers/Disaster

Action Team Member