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Red Cross, Fire Department To Increase Efforts To Reduce Home Fire Deaths And Injuries
Updated November 2, 2015 7:01 PM
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(BEDFORD) - The American Red Cross home fire campaign is coming to Bedford.

This national campaign is sweeping the country in an effort to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires by as much as 25 percent over the next five years.

Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire. Red Cross volunteers join forces with local fire departments and community groups to install smoke alarms and encourage everyone to practice their fire escape plans.

The Red Cross is partnering with the Bedford Fire Department to install smoke alarms in Bedford on November 4 and 5. Volunteers will be contacting homeowners between 3:00 and 5:00 to install smoke alarms in homes that need them, and teach people how to prepare should a fire break out in their home.

Dewayne Turpin, Fire Inspector for the Bedford Fire Department is coordinating the installation of the smoke alarms.

"We have firemen who have offered to give a few hours to install detectors," Turpin says. "In our line of work, we've definitely seen the value of smoke alarms in saving lives."

"Installing smoke alarms cuts the risk of someone dying from a home fire in half, so we're working with firemen to get the alarms in local homes," said Teena Ligman, Red Cross disaster team member. "Firefighters are the ideal partners to work with. They see first-hand how many of the houses where people are injured in a fire had no smoke alarms. We're all believers in this cause."

She explained there is also an educational component in the contacts on fire safety. More alarms will be distributed in other areas of Lawrence, Orange and Martin County in the future.

The smoke alarms to be installed locally are part of 7,000 total alarms donated to the Red Cross by Home Depot to be installed in Indiana over the next four years. This generous donation allows the Red Cross to provide high quality smoke alarms at no charge.

Simple Steps To Save Lives

Even as the Red Cross and their partners install smoke alarms, they are calling on everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home.

There are several things families and individuals can do to increase their chances of surviving a fire:

  • If someone doesn't have smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Local building codes vary and there may be additional requirements where someone lives.
  • If someone does have alarms, test them today. If they don't work, replace them.
  • Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.
  • Practice that plan. What's the household's escape time?
2015 Survey Results

Many of those surveyed (41 percent) feel confident they can get out of a burning home in under two minutes. And most parents (64 percent) believe their children would know what to do if a fire occurred.

However, many of these families admitted they didn't take key steps to help keep their family safe. Only about half of the parents surveyed (52 percent) talked to their families about fire safety. Only 10 percent of families have actually practiced home fire drills. And only about a quarter of families (24 percent) have identified a safe place where family members can meet outside the home.

The survey also shows more than a third of those surveyed (36 percent) admitted using candles when the power goes out instead of flashlights. And despite cooking being the leading cause of home fires, one in five (17 percent) have left cooking food unattended on the stove.

Red Cross Apps

People can learn how to help prevent a home fire and what to do if one occurs by downloading the Red Cross Emergency App. They can use the app's Family Safe feature to help stay in touch with loved ones. Children can earn points and incentives in a fun, gaming environment while learning how to prevent a home fire and other emergencies in the Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies App. The First Aid App provides expert advice including what to do for burns, broken bones, and breathing and cardiac emergencies. The apps can be downloaded for free in app stores or at

What People Can Do

People can visit to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire. To volunteer to help with a smoke alarm installation event contact Teena Ligman at 812-278-0139. People can also help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting, 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 disasters every year, from home fires to wildfires and tornados.


The national public opinion survey was conducted for the Red Cross July 27-29, 2015 using ORC International's Online CARAVAN omnibus survey. The study was conducted among a national sample of 1,130 American adults, including 311 parents of children aged 3-17. The total sample is balanced to be representative of the US adult population in terms of age, sex, geographic region, race and education. The margin of error for the total sample of 1,130 adults is +/- 2.92 percent. The margin of error for the sample of 311 parents is +/- 5.56 percent

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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