Red Cross Kicks-Off Sound the Alarm Campaign to Educate Families on Home Fire Prevention and Safety

Regionwide push to reach residents through Sound the Alarm effort 

MIAMI, Fla. (April 15, 2021) — This Spring, American Red Cross volunteers will Sound the Alarm throughout South Florida as part of a national effort to educate 100,000 people about home fire safety in high-risk neighborhoods from April 8 through May 8. Volunteers will meet with residents by appointment outside their homes to share fire safety information and help them create an escape plan to practice their two-minute fire drill.

Through targeted outreach, we’re working to connect with families and educate kids online about fire safety. Most people don’t realize they only have two-minutes to escape a home fire. Through virtual and digital outreach, we’re helping families develop escape plans and learn fire safety. To make a virtual appointment, sign up today at SoundtheAlarm.org/SFL.

In 2021 alone, the South Florida Red Cross has supported more than 1,022 people following more than 219 home fires. The Red Cross helped with urgent needs such as emergency sheltering, financial assistance and recovery planning.

“Home fires remain the most frequent disaster during COVID-19, yet most of us don’t realize we have just two minutes to safely escape,” said Josett Valdez, CEO for the Red Cross South Florida Region. “As families spend more time at home during the pandemic, it’s critical that we help our vulnerable neighbors protect themselves from these everyday disasters.”

Know what to do before, during, and after a fire. A 20-minute call could save your family! 

The Red Cross is preparing families to act quickly through our Home Fire Campaign. Red Cross educators will provide tailored information on how to protect your home and reduce fire risks. Virtual appointments can be made today at SoundtheAlarm.org/SFL. During the virtual appointment, Red Cross-trained volunteers will:

  • Provide assistance in testing your current smoke alarms.
  • Help you develop a personalized fire escape plan including identifying 2 ways to escape and a meeting place.
  • Provide valuable fire safety tips and training for your household.
  • Discuss an additional hazard specific to your area (i.e. flooding, hurricanes, tornados).

Over the past seven years, the Home Fire Campaign has saved at least 836 lives across the country, including 23 in South Florida. But more work still needs to be done to keep families safe from these everyday disasters.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE Help protect your family against home fires by taking two simple steps: Practice your two-minute escape drill and test your smoke alarms monthly. Visit SoundTheAlarm.org for more information and to pledge to prepare your family against home fires. 

  • Create an escape plan with at least two ways to exit every room in your home. Select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone knows to meet.
  • Practice your escape plan until everyone in your household can get out in less than two minutes.
  • Place smoke alarms on each level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Change the batteries at least once a year if your model requires it.·
  • Check the manufacturer’s date of your smoke alarms. If they’re 10 years or older, they likely need to be replaced. Follow your alarm’s manufacturer instructions.

From April 12 until May 10, the South Florida Red Cross will also run a Facebook fundraiser to support the Sound the Alarm Campaign efforts. Please visit Sound the Alarm Facebook Fundraiser for additional information.