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  • Writer's pictureNEIA Red Cross

Taking Simple Actions Can Prevent the Most Common Disaster - Home Fires

After responding to over 1,000 home fires throughout Nebraska and Iowa, we encourage everyone to take fire safety actions. Home fires are the most common disaster to which our volunteers respond to lend support, and we often see an increase in home fires during winter months.




Below are some key ways to prepare your household:

  • Install the right number of smoke alarms: Ensure smoke alarms are on every level of the home, including the basement and in or near sleeping areas.

  • Practice your escape plan: Take time to discuss fire safety with your household. Familiarize children with the sound of your smoke alarm, and teach them what to do when they hear it when you practice your escape plan.

  • Family Communications Plan: Establish a family emergency communications plan and ensure that all household members know who to contact if they cannot find one another.

  • Avoid matches: Teach your children to tell you or a responsible adult when they find matches or lighters at home or school. Keep matches, lighters and other ignitable substances in a secured location out of reach of children.

  • Test smoke alarms: Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Test them monthly and replace alarm batteries as needed.

  • Replace smoke alarms older than 10 years.

If you cannot afford to purchase smoke alarms or are physically unable to install one, the Red Cross may be able to help. Contact your local Red Cross for more information.

Download the Red Cross First Aid app for quick, expert advice on what to do in case of an emergency. Find all of the Red Cross apps in smartphone app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.



HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN SAVE LIVES Since October 2014, the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, working with community partners, has saved at least 1,928 lives by educating families about fire safety, helping them create escape plans and installing free smoke alarms in high-risk areas across the country. To learn more about the campaign and how you can get involved, visit redcross.org/homefires


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