Thursday, December 13, 2018

Home Fire Campaign. BEMA International and the American Red Cross.



The Black Emergency Managers Association International (BEMA) are partners with the Red Cross to saves lives through the Home Fire Campaign. Home fires kill more people annually than tornadoes and hurricanes combined.  

To prevent these tragedies, the Red Cross, volunteers and community partners work together to install free smoke alarms and help families create escape plans. 

Through the campaign, the Red Cross and its partners have reached more than 1.6 million people and helped save at least 474 lives across the country by:
  • Installing more than 1.5 million free smoke alarms
  • Making 623,000 households safer from the threat of home fires
  • Reaching more than 1.2 million children through youth preparedness programs

You can help save lives by signing up to become a volunteer or taking steps to protect your own family from home fires. Currently partnered Red Cross chapters and local BEMA  members are encouraged to connect directly. BEMA members that have not previously worked with the Red Cross should go to and identify their local Red Cross Region.

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 visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

10 Ways to Stay Safe as You Deck the Halls this Holiday Season

The American Red Cross offers safety tips to help prevent home fires caused by holiday decorations

The holiday season is here, and the American Red Cross wants everyone to stay safe from home fires as they decorate their homes for the upcoming festivities.

Decorations like trees, lights and candles increase the risk of home fires during the holidays—with Christmas, New Year’s Eve and New Year’s Day being the top three days for home candle fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association.

The Red Cross wants people to stay safe from home fires—the nation’s most frequent disaster—by testing their smoke alarms and practicing their home fire escape plan with free resources at In addition, you can follow these 10 simple safety tips as you put up lights and ornaments:

1.     Check all holiday light cords to make sure they aren’t frayed or broken. Don’t string too many strands of lights together—no more than three per extension cord.
2.     If are buying an artificial tree, look for the fire-resistant label. When putting it up, keep it away from fireplaces, radiators and other sources of heat.
3.     If getting a live tree, make sure it’s fresh and water it to keep it fresh. Bend the needles up and down to make sure no needles fall off.
4.     If using older decorations, check their labels. Some older tinsel is lead-based. If using angel hair, wear gloves to avoid irritation. Avoid breathing in artificial snow.
5.     When decorating outside, make sure decorations are for outdoor use and fasten lights securely to your home or trees. If using hooks or nails outside, make sure they are insulated to avoid an electrocution or fire hazard.
6.     If using a ladder, be extra careful. Make sure to have good, stable placement and wear shoes that allow for good traction.
7.     Don’t use electric lights on metallic trees.
8.     Don’t forget to turn off all holiday lights when going to bed or leaving the house.
9.     Keep children, pets and decorations away from candles.
10.  If hanging stockings on the fireplace mantel, don’t light the fireplace.

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