WICHITA FALLS, TX - Seven times a day in the United States someone dies in a house fire, according to the American Red Cross. That's why the organization will work to make sure everyone is ready and prepared, should a fire start in your home.
On Saturday, December 16th, the American Red Cross of Wichita Falls will hit the streets to offer free smoke alarms to home owners. They will help anyone regardless of income. If you don't have an alarm, or it needs replacing, the organization will bring plenty. They will even replace batteries.
"They're really important as far as letting people know that there is smoke or a fire in the house and so that the fire department can get there a little quicker," said Linda Stevenson, Disaster Program Manager with the American Red Cross.
It is part of the Home Hires Preparedness campaign, a five year program that is aimed at reducing house fire deaths by 25 percent in 2018. Stevenson said fire detectors and batteries are things that residents need to continually monitor and replace.
"What we suggest, and what the fire departments have been suggesting is to do it when you turn your clocks back in the fall or in the spring," said Stevenson.
While Red Cross officials hand out fire detectors, they will also be helping families put together a fire escape plan.
"So they have a meeting place, so that half of the family doesn't go out the back and the other half go out the front door and someone doesn't end up going back in the home," said Stevenson.
Around 82 percent of families have not practiced fire safety drills, and 70 percent of families with children have never identified a safe meeting place outside their homes, according to the American Red Cross.
If you are in need of a fire detector, or new batteries you can contact the American Red Cross at 940 322 8686 or the Fire Department at 940 761 7901.