Red Cross urges preparation for home fires

Encourages testing smoke alarms, practicing escape plans in light of recent home fire fatalities

NASHVILLE— The American Red Cross of the Tennessee Region is encouraging all citizens to make a home fire safety plan following an uptick in home fire fatalities in the state last month.

In June, eight fire deaths were recorded in Pickett, Gibson, Hamilton, Davidson, Wilson, Dyer and Shelby counties.

The Red Cross offers emergency financial assistance, food, relief items, health and mental health services and one-on-one support to connect people to available recovery assistance following a home fire. There are also training course offered that provide fire safety education in all Tennessee communities at local chapter offices. Most courses are offered online, and life-saving courses like CPR, AED and First Aid, are offered with limited space by registration. So far this year, local Red Cross volunteers have helped more than 1,025 families affected by single and multi-family home fires in our state.

“Our hearts go out to our neighbors who were impacted by these tragedies,” said Joel Sullivan, regional executive for the Tennessee Region of the American Red Cross. “Because these disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, please help stay safe by testing your smoke alarms each month and practicing your home fire escape plan until everyone in your household can escape in two minutes or less.”

For home fire safety resources and tips, visit or download the free Red Cross Emergency App, (search “American Red Cross” in app stores or go to

Our campaign to #ENDHOMEFIRES

Home fires take seven lives each day in the U.S., most often in homes without working smoke alarms.  The organization’s Home Fire Campaign has saved at least 761 lives across the country since launching in October 2014. In the Tennessee Region, in 2014 staff, volunteers and local partners have made 19,370 households safer from the threat of home fires through education and preparedness measures. 

Nationally, since the program is directly responsible for 890,371 lives made safer across the nation.

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, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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