Following a recent spike of home fires in Southwest Mississippi,
the American Red Cross Alabama Mississippi region encourages everyone to talk to their children about fire safety to help families stay safe.
In the past year, local Red Cross volunteers helped more than 1,300 people — affected by more than 315 home fires in Southwest Mississippi. For residents affected by the recent fires, the Red Cross provided emergency financial assistance, food, relief items like toiletries, health and mental health services, and one-on-one support to connect people to available recovery assistance.
“It’s heartbreaking for anyone to have to experience a home fire, especially children,” Tamica Jeuitt, executive director, Southwest Mississippi said. “We want to ensure families and children are prepared. Please talk to everyone in your household about home fire safety and practice your escape plan together until everyone can get out in two minutes or less.”
HELP KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE Below are some ways to prepare your family:
Practice your escape plan: Take time to discuss fire safety with your family. Familiarize children with the sound of your smoke alarm and teach them what to do when they hear it when you practice your escape plan.
Be friends with firefighters: Teach your children not to be afraid of firefighters. Take them to your local fire department to meet them, see the gear they wear and learn about fire safety and prevention.
Avoid matches: Teach your children to tell you or a responsible adult when they find matches or lighters at home or school. Keep matches, lighters and other ignitable substances in a secured location out of reach of children.
Test smoke alarms: Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Test them monthly and replace alarm batteries as needed.
For free home fire safety resources, including an escape plan, visit redcross.org/fire or download the free Red Cross Emergency App. In addition, the free Monster Guard app teaches children how to prepare for emergencies by playing an engaging game. Download the apps by searching “American Red Cross” in app stores or going to redcross.org/apps.