Fire Prevention Week: Red Cross Says Practice Escape Plans, Test Smoke Alarms

National Fire Prevention Week is October 6th-12th, and the American Red Cross urges everyone to practice their home fire escape plan and test their smoke alarms.

“This is the time of year we see home fires happen,” said Joel Sullivan, Regional Executive for the American Red Cross in Tennessee.  “As cold weather increases, the risk of home fires increases.  We are urging all Tennessee families to please prepare your family now during Fire Prevention Week.”  The Red Cross suggests testing smoke alarms on every level of your home and practice an escape plan to make sure everyone in the home can get out in two minutes or less if a fire were to occur.

For free home fire safety resources, visit or download the free Red Cross Emergency App (search “American Red Cross” in app stores).

Include at least two ways to get out of each room in your home fire escape plan.  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 can meet.  Practice your escape plan until everyone can get out in two minutes or less.  Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, placing them inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas.  Test smoke alarms monthly, and change the batteries at lease once a year, if your model requires it.

Home fires take seven lives each day in the U.S., most often in homes without working smoke alarms.  That’s why the Red Cross is working with partners to install free smoke alarms in high-risk communities and help families create escape plans through its Home Fire Campaign, which launched five years ago in October 2014.

Over the past five years, the campaign has saved at least 642 lives across the country by:  Installing nearly 2 million free smoke alarms; reaching more than 1.4 million children through youth preparedness programs; and making more than 793,000 households safer from the threat of home fires.