For the Press and Standard
With the support of community partners, the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign has achieved its goal of installing 2.5 million free smoke alarms and making 1 million households safer across the country, including more than 100,000 alarms in South Carolina.
Since launching in October 2014, the campaign has saved at least 1,583 lives nationwide — including 106 lives in South Carolina. This is significant, as home fires claim seven lives every day in the U.S. These tragedies most often occur in homes without working smoke alarms, which can cut the risk of death from a home fire in half.
“We are proud of our incredible work alongside Fire Safe SC, local fire departments, and community partners to help save lives by providing free smoke alarms in South Carolina as part of the national Home Fire Campaign,” said Rod Tolbert, CEO of the American Red Cross of South Carolina. “This amazing effort has been made possible by every volunteer, donor, and supporter who teamed up to care for vulnerable families in our state.”
Home fires account for most of the more than 60,000 disasters that the Red Cross responds to annually in South Carolina and across the country. So far, in 2023, Red Cross volunteers have already helped more than 1,240 people affected by more than 400 home fires in South Carolina by providing emergency lodging, financial assistance for urgent needs like food and clothing, and one-on-one recovery support for navigating the next steps and connecting with community resources. This work is made possible thanks to financial donations from generous regional partners.
In South Carolina, Red Cross volunteers, Fire Safe SC, local fire departments, and other community partners:
Installed more than 104,000 free smoke alarms
Made nearly 30,000 households safer
Educated nearly 16,000 children through youth preparedness programs
Red Cross volunteers respond to an average of six home fires every day across the state
“We are excited to recognize this achievement, and we will continue to work together, especially since alarms initially installed are nearing the end of their 10-year lifespan. Sustaining our efforts depends on the engagement of local fire and community partners to replace and increase the number of homes with working smoke alarms,” said S.C. State Fire Chief Josh Fulbright. “Today, fire is hotter and faster than in the past due to modern furnishings. Working smoke alarms, practicing a home fire escape plan, closing bedroom doors when you sleep, and designating an outdoor safe meeting place can increase your ability to escape should a home fire occur.”
FREE HOME FIRE SERVICES TO CONTINUE
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