Skip to Content
Watch BCTV Now
/ Articles / Health & Wellness /

MLK DAY Home Fire Campaign in Reading, PA

Jan 12, 2018 • by Red Cross Tri-County Chapter
Smoke Alarm

Across U.S., Red Cross Responds to Nearly 60% More Home Fires in First Days of 2018 Than in 2017

Red Cross Tri-County to Install Free Smoke Alarms Over Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service Weekend

Follow Safety Tips to Prevent a Fire in Your Home

Reading, PA — In the first nine days of the new year, the American Red Cross responded to nearly 60 percent more home fires than in 2017.

Red Cross volunteers across the country have already responded to 3,150 home fires in the first nine days of the year, compared to 2,003 fires in 2017. Some of this may be attributed to the recent string of dangerously cold days, as colder temperatures are often linked to a rise in home fires. Heating, holiday decorations, winter storms and candles all contribute to an increased risk of fire during the winter months, according to the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration.

After a home fire, a Red Cross volunteer is often among the first on the scene – offering emotional support, helping those affected to find a place to stay and assisting with recovery. As of January 9, the Red Cross has already opened 4,400 cases to help a total of 12,500 people get back on their feet after home fires in 2018.

In this area, the Red Cross of Eastern Pennsylvania has responded to over 50 home fires so far this year.

“The Red Cross responds to almost 64,000 disasters across the United States every year and most of these are home fires,” said Adrian Grieve, Executive Director of the American Red Cross, Tri-County Chapter. “These home fires are devastating for the people involved and also responsible for a number of deaths and injuries. That is why our Home Fire Campaign is so important. We want to help save lives by installing smoke alarms in homes that don’t have them and educating people about home fire safety.”

As part of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, Red Cross Tri-County Chapter will install free smoke alarms over the upcoming Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service weekend. The Day of Service occurs on Monday, January 15, to honor the life of Dr.King. Here in Berks County, the Red Cross will join UGI to install smoke alarms in homes in Reading, PA.

WHAT:            The Red Cross Tri-County Chapter is holding a Sound the Alarmhome fire safety and smoke alarm installation event. Red Cross volunteers and local partners will be canvassing neighborhoods, installing free smoke alarms, replacing batteries in existing alarms and helping families create escape plans.

WHERE:          American Red Cross, Tri-County Chapter

                       701 Centre Avenue, Reading, PA  19601

WHEN:             Monday, January 15, 2018. Time: 9:30 a.m.

For those who want to participate, no prior experience is needed. Red Cross workers will provide the materials and training necessary for any individuals, group or organization that would like to collaborate. For more information, please contact:

–       Matt Breidenstein: [email protected], 610-533-0496

Following this event,free smoke alarm installations will take place until 3 p.m. by the American Red Cross volunteer teams installing 10-year lithium battery powered smoke alarms.  

Across the country, the Campaign is making a difference. As of this fall, the Red Cross and our partners across the country have saved at least 285 lives and installed over a million of free smoke alarms. Here in Eastern PA, the Red Cross has installed 20,576 smoke alarms in the last three years.

WHAT CAN PEOPLE DO? The Red Cross is asking every household in America to take steps that can help save lives. Find out more here. In addition to preparing your home and family, volunteers are needed in many areas to help install smoke alarms in at-risk communities. People can contact the Red Cross Tri-County Chapter for more information at (610) 375-4383.

Everyone can also follow these tips to help prevent a fire in their home:

Keep all potential sources of fuel – paper, clothing, bedding, curtains or rugs – at least three feet away from sources of heat.Never leave portable heaters and fireplaces unattended.Place space heaters on a level, hard and nonflammable surface. Keep children and pets away from space heaters. Look for models that shut off automatically if the heater falls over.Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.Keep fire in your fireplace by using a glass or metal fire screen.

We need your support!

Your contribution makes community media possible.

A donation of any size to your nonprofit media organization supports the future of media access in our community - the things you love, and the places you know, by the people you care about.

Watch BCTV Live