VALDOSTA – National Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 6-12, and the American Red Cross of Georgia urges everyone to practice their home fire escape plan and test their smoke alarms.

“With colder weather around the corner, the risk of home fires increases. Please prepare your family now during Fire Prevention Week,” said Danella Hughes, regional disaster office for the Red Cross in Georgia. “Install and test smoke alarms on every level of your home and practice your escape plan until everyone can get out in two minutes or less.”

Practice your plan, test smoke alarms

For free home fire safety resources, visit or download the free Red Cross Emergency App (search “American Red Cross” in app stores), Red Cross officials said.

• Include at least two ways to get out of each room in your home fire escape plan.

• Select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from home, such as a neighbor’s home or landmark such as a specific tree in front yard, where everyone can meet.

• Practice escape plan until everyone can get out in two minutes or less.

• Install smoke alarms on every level of home, placing them inside and outside bedrooms, and sleeping areas.

• Test smoke alarms monthly, and change the batteries at least once a year, if the model requires it.

Lifesaving Home Fire Campaign

Home fires take seven lives each day in the U.S., most often in homes without working smoke alarms. That’s why the Red Cross of Georgia is continuing to work with partners to install free smoke alarms in high-risk communities and help families create escape plans, Red Cross officials said.

Having properly working smoke alarms reduces the risk of dying in a home fire by 50 percent. During the past five years, the Red Cross campaign to install free smoke alarms has saved at least 642 lives across the country (14 in Georgia) and made more than 793,000 households safer from the threat of home fires. 

Last year, in Georgia, Red Cross volunteers, with the help of local fire departments and community partners, installed more than 11,000 free smoke alarms in communities across the state. 

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