Red Cross: Home fires have increased 16% since start of 2021

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(WWTI) — In the first three months of 2021, home fires have increased 16% compared to the same period in 2020, as confirmed by the American Red Cross.

The Red Cross has reported that as people have spent more time at home during the COVID-19 pandemic, home fires have remained a constant threat. From Januray to March of 2021, the Red Cross has responded to nearly 17,000 home fires affecting more than 70,000 United States residents.

According to the Red Cross, this is an increase of 2,300 fires compared to the same time in 2020.

“Home fires can happen anytime, anywhere, and it’s critical for all of us to protect ourselves,” said American Red Cross Senior Vice President of Disaster Cycle Services Trevor Riggen. “Help keep your family safe by taking two simple steps: Practice your two-minute home fire escape drill and test your smoke alarms monthly.”

Simple steps to help protect yourself and family from these incidents are listed below:

  • Create an escape plan with at least two ways to exit every room in your home
  • Practice your plan until everyone in your household can get out in less than two minutes
  • Place smoke alarms on each level on your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping units
  • Check the manufacturers date of your smoke alarms. If 10 years or older, they are likely in need to be replaced

For more fire safety tips visit the American Red Cross website.

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