Friday, October 12, 2012

The biggest disaster threat in the US – and what YOU can do to prevent it!

What disaster poses the biggest threat in the U.S.?

You might be surprised to find out that it’s not earthquakes, tornadoes, hurricanes or other severe weather: fires are the most common home disaster in our country. In 2010, the American Red Cross responded to a home fire an average of once every 8 minutes.

That’s the bad news. The good news is that — unlike other disasters — most home fires can be prevented!

Oct. 7-13 is National Fire Prevention Week so we wanted to share some tips to help you get ready for fires at home:
  • Make sure you have a smoke detector installed on every floor, and change the batteries at least once a year. We recommend checking your smoke detectors and emergency stockpiles when you change your clocks on Nov. 4, 2012 – or as we like to call it, Set Your Clocks, Check Your Stocks day!
  • Make sure you think about what your family will do during a fire when you sit down to make emergency plans. FEMA recommends that you “Have Two Ways Out” of every room. And don’t forget to pick a place to meet up once everyone is out safely!
  • Check out our Home Disasters fact sheet [PDF] for more tips about preparing your home for disasters.
  • If you live in an area at risk for wildfires, you should make extra plans for your home and your family. Check out our recent blog post about wildfires, or download our fact sheet [PDF] for more info!
We hope this information helps you and your family prepare for a fire and stay safe.

Do you have any stories to share about home fires? Let us know in the comments or send us an email!

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