Monday, July 9, 2018

"They Saved our Life" A Georgetown Mother and Son Share Their Home Fire Story


Janette Washington and her son were in church on Sunday when a message stuck with them. Not just a message of faith, but one of preparedness. Firefighters from the Georgetown County Fire Department spoke to the congregation about the importance of having working smoke alarms in their homes. The firefighters said they had free alarms to install from the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross.

“I noticed there was just one in my house, so I decided we needed more,” Janette said.

Janette Washington and her son, Timothy, are the
52nd and 53rd lives the Red Cross and its partners
have saved through the Home Fire Campaign.
Educating Georgetown residents about home fire safety is a goal of the Georgetown County Fire Department.

“Anytime we can get to a community event and talk about fire safety and smoke detectors, we’re there,” said Chief Mack Reed.

A few days later, the firefighters installed several alarms and discussed with Janette ways to escape from her home should a fire break out. She remembered filing away that conversation, never thinking she’d need to use it.

However, in April, as she was falling back asleep after severe weather woke her up, she heard the screeching sound coming from one of the newly installed smoke alarms.

“When I looked down the hall, all I could was the fire coming from the ceiling,” she remembered.

The mother quickly jumped into action to save herself and her 28-year-old son.

“She calls me, and she bangs on the wall: Timothy, wake up! The house is on fire,” said Timothy.

A melted phone and burned calendar are all that remains
inside the Washington's kitchen.


Within just a few minutes, the mother and son said the smoke began choking them. In that moment, however, Janette remembered: two ways to escape from every room in the house. She remembered they could escape from the back door.

The mother and son are alive today, thanks to the smoke alarms and knowing what to do when a fire occurs.

“It was very scary, but I know for a fact, if it hadn’t been for those fire alarms, I was going back to sleep,” Janette said. “They saved our life. We would have been gone, honestly.”

In the days following the fire, the Red Cross helped in another way. Volunteers helped the family by providing financial assistance for their immediate needs, replacing necessary medications that burned and providing referrals for other agencies that could help in their recovery.

“For me and my son, [the assistance] was a blessing because we didn’t have nothing at the time,” said the thankful mother.

Ernestine, a Red Cross volunteer, helps Janette in the
days after the home fire.
Janette and Timothy are the 52nd and 53rd lives saved in South Carolina since the Red Cross’ home fire campaign launched in 2014. Together with its partners, the Red Cross has installed more than 57,000 free smoke alarms throughout the state over the last several years.

While much of her home is destroyed, what was not damaged was Janette’s sense of gratitude for the Georgetown County Fire Department, the Red Cross and the working smoke alarms.

“I’ve told a lot of people, if you don’t have one, don’t let a day go by because it’s true: they will save your life,” Janette said.

The Red Cross wants to thank all of the local fire departments, Fire Safe SC and Red Cross volunteers for helping save lives throughout South Carolina.



Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Red Cross Shares How to Have a Safe Fourth of July; Asks for Blood Donations Around the Holiday


The Fourth of July holiday will soon be here and many of us will enjoy the outdoors, watch fireworks or host a family picnic. The Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross wants everyone to enjoy their holiday and offers safety steps they can follow.

“The Independence Day Holiday is a great time for summer fun and we want to make sure everyone stays safe during their celebration,” said Louise Welch Williams, regional chief executive officer, Palmetto SC Region. “It’s also a time when the number of people giving blood decreases, but the need for blood donations continues. We are also asking that everyone consider giving blood over the holiday.”

HAVE A SAFE FOURTH OF JULY

The safest way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Stay at least 500 feet away from the show. Many states outlaw most fireworks. Leave any area immediately where untrained amateurs are using fireworks. If you are setting fireworks off at home, follow these safety steps:
1.     Never give fireworks to small children, and never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials. Always follow the instructions on the packaging.
2.     Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
3.     Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
4.     Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight "a dud."
5.     Store fireworks in a cool, dry place away from children and pets.

HEAT SAFETY

1.     Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees. Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.
2.     Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
3.     Avoid extreme temperature changes.
4.     Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
5.     Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat. If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should seek relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day in places like schools, libraries, theaters, malls, etc.

PICNIC SAFETY

1.     Don’t leave food out in the hot sun. Keep perishable foods in a cooler with plenty of ice or freezer gel packs.
2.     Wash your hands before preparing the food.
3.     If you are going to cook on a grill, always supervise the grill when in use. Don’t add charcoal starter fluid when coals have already been ignited. Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.
4.     Never grill indoors. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire. 
5.     Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross Emergency App can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand for more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips. Download these apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.


Blood donations often drop around Independence Day due to fewer volunteer-hosted blood drives, and this year is no exception. With many donors on vacation, blood drive sponsors will not be hosting as many blood drives at their place of work, worship or community gathering. Hundreds of fewer blood drives are held the week of July 4 than an average week.

The Red Cross is urging those who have never donated blood or platelets, as well as current donors, to make a donation appointment now and help sustain a sufficient blood supply this summer. To encourage donations around the July Fourth holiday, those who come to give blood or platelets from July 2 – July 7 will receive a special edition Red Cross T-shirt as a special thank you, while supplies last.

To schedule an appointment to donate blood or platelets, eligible individuals can use the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visit redcrossblood.org, or call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Red Cross Issues Safety Tips as Hot Weather Arrives in SC


Even before summer begins, South Carolina is dealing with hot temperatures and high humidity. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), more than 600 people in the United States are killed by extreme heat every year. The Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross has steps you can take to help stay safe when the temperatures soar.

“It’s important for everyone to realize that warm weather can be dangerous,” said Louise Welch Williams, regional chief executive officer, Palmetto SC Region. “The Red Cross urges everyone to follow the tips below, as hot weather continues in the state for the next several days.”


Some people are more at risk of developing a heat-related illness, including adults age 65 and older, those with chronic medical conditions, people who work outside, infants and children and athletes. Here are steps you should take in hot weather:

·         Hot cars can be deadly. Never leave children or pets in your vehicle. The inside temperature of the car can quickly reach 120 degrees.
·         Stay hydrated by drinking plenty of fluids. Avoid drinks with caffeine or alcohol.
·         Check on family, friends and neighbors who do not have air conditioning, who spend much of their time alone or who are more likely to be affected by the heat.
·         If someone doesn’t have air conditioning, they should seek relief from the heat during the warmest part of the day in places like schools, libraries, theaters, malls, etc.
·         Avoid extreme temperature changes.
·         Wear loose-fitting, lightweight, light-colored clothing. Avoid dark colors because they absorb the sun’s rays.
·         Slow down, stay indoors and avoid strenuous exercise during the hottest part of the day.
·         Postpone outdoor games and activities.
·         Use a buddy system when working in excessive heat. Take frequent breaks if working outdoors.
·         Check on animals frequently to ensure that they are not suffering from the heat. Make sure they have plenty of cool water.

HEAT STROKE LIFE-THREATENING Signs include hot, red skin which may be dry or moist; changes in consciousness; vomiting and high body temperature. Call 9-1-1 immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. Move the person to a cooler place. Quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.


HEAT EXHAUSTION Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, heat cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If someone is experiencing heat cramps in the legs or abdomen, get them to a cooler place, have them rest, lightly stretch the affected muscle, and replenish their fluids with a half a glass (about 4 ounces) of cool water every 15 minutes. 

If someone is exhibiting signs of heat exhaustion (cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness, exhaustion), move them to a cooler place, remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Fan the person. If they are conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1.

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe by putting vital information in your hand and settings for more than 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts including heat advisories and excessive heat warnings. The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid emergencies at your fingertips including heat-related emergencies. Download these apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families.  The Red Cross is a charitable organization – not a government agency – and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org/SC or @RedCrossSC

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Friday, June 1, 2018

The 2018 Hurricane Season Has Arrived; Now is the Time to Prepare


Believe it or not: hurricane season has arrived. After a record-breaking season last year, the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross is prepared for whatever storms come South Carolina’s way this season. The Red Cross wants families to begin preparing now for the season.

A Red Cross volunteer hands meals to
a resident of Florida after Hurricane Irma made landfall.
“Our volunteers and staff members have been training throughout the year to be ready to jump into action immediately should a storm make its way to our state,” said Louise Welch Williams, regional CEO. “We urge all South Carolinians, even those away from the coast, to follow the tips below so they can stay safe and prepared this hurricane season.”

WHAT YOU SHOULD DO

  • Build an emergency kit with a gallon of water per person, per day, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items, copies of important papers, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information. Many of these items are available through the Red Cross Store at redcrossstore.org.
  • Talk with household members and create an evacuation plan. Practicing the plan minimizes confusion and fear during the event.
  • Be informed. Learn about the community’s hurricane response plan. Plan routes to local shelters, register family members with special medical needs as required and make plans for pets. Take a First Aid and CPR/AED course (redcross.org/takeaclass) so you know what to do in case emergency help is delayed.
  • Download the free Red Cross Emergency App to select up to 35 different severe weather and emergency alerts on their mobile device. The content includes expert guidance on what to do before, during and after different emergencies or disasters from home fires to hurricanes. The app can be found in smartphone app stores by searching for American Red Cross, texting ‘EMERGENCY’ to 90999, or by going to redcross.org/apps.
If someone already has a disaster kit, now is the time make sure the food and water is still okay to consume and that copies of important documents are up to date. If they already have an emergency plan for their household, they should talk about it again with family members, so everyone knows what to do if an emergency occurs.

HELP FOR BUSINESSES, SCHOOLS, ORGANIZATIONS The Red Cross Ready Rating™ program helps businesses, schools and other organizations prepare for emergencies that can disrupt daily operations. Ready Rating™ offers specific steps that organizations can take to be better prepared. It includes a planning tool to help their employees or members know what their roles are in the early hours of an emergency, what their next steps are, and a resource center with tools that help businesses, employees and students develop and practice preparedness plans. More information about this valuable program can be found at readyrating.org.

Wednesday, May 23, 2018

American Red Cross Reminds South Carolinians to Stay Weather Aware


As the threat of heavy rains and the potential for flash flooding comes to South Carolina this Memorial Day weekend, the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross is reminding everyone to stay weather aware.

It is important for everyone to listen closely to local weather forecasts. The Red Cross urges everyone to follow the tips below.
HOW TO STAY SAFE
DOWNLOAD EMERGENCY APP People should download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive emergency alerts and information about what to do in case of thunderstorms, flooding and other disasters, as well as locations of shelters. The App also includes emergency first aid information and a Family Safe feature which allows people to instantly see if loved ones are okay. The free Emergency App is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps.

FLOODING
  •          Be prepared to evacuate at a moment’s notice. When a flood or flash flood warning is issued for your area, head for higher ground and stay there.
  •          Stay away from floodwaters.
  •          Turn around, don’t drown. If you come upon a flooded road while driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  •          Keep children out of the water.
  •          Be especially cautious at night when it is harder to recognize flood danger.

THUNDERSTORMS
  •          If you can hear thunder, you are close enough to the storm to be struck by lightning. Go to safe shelter immediately.
  •          As the storm approaches, take shelter in a building.
  •          If you are driving, pull off the roadway and park. Stay in the car with the windows closed and turn on the emergency flashers. Avoid touching metal or other surfaces at conduct electricity in and outside of the vehicle.
  •          If you are inside a home, unplug appliances and avoid using the telephone or any electrical appliances. Avoid taking a bath or shower, or running water for any other purpose.
  •          If you are caught outside and cannot reach a safe building, avoid high ground, water, or tall, isolated trees and metal objects such as fences or bleachers. Picnic shelters, dugouts and sheds are not safe.




Monday, May 14, 2018

Red Cross and Partners Install 1122 Smoke Alarms During Sound the Alarm Event in Charleston


Together with its local fire department partners and volunteers, the American Red Cross of Lowcountry SC installed 1,122 smoke alarms during the Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation event this past Saturday. The event was held in four communities throughout Charleston County. That number exceeds the goal of 1,000 smoke alarms installed.

Mt. Pleasant resident, Genevieve Habersham, receives a home
fire escape plan from a Red Cross volunteer, Emily.
In addition to installing free smoke alarms, the Red Cross and its partners also replaced batteries in existing alarms and helped families create escape plans. The sponsors included Bank of America, State Farm, G and P Trucking, Elliott Davis, LLC, SC Realtor’s Association, and South of the Border. The Red Cross thanks them all for their participation.

“I am so thankful for our staff members, volunteers and partners who made Saturday’s event incredibly successful,” said Amanda Baldwin, executive director of the Lowcountry SC Chapter. “Throughout the day, I talked to many appreciative residents whose homes are now safer because of the efforts from the Red Cross.”

So far this year in the Lowcountry SC chapter, the Red Cross has provided emergency assistance to 478 people and helped 158 families after a home fire. On average, the Red Cross responds to as many as six home fires every day in South Carolina.

North Charleston resident, Linda Frasier, listens as a Red Cross volunteer from Boeing 
explains the importance of having two ways to exit every room in her home.
Working smoke alarms in a home cut the risk of death by half, and having an escape plan further improves the odds of survival. The Red Cross wants to end these tragedies and save lives, the reason why the organization launched the Home Fire Campaign in 2014.

Across the state, the Campaign is making a difference. As of May 14, the Palmetto SC Region of the Red Cross and its partners across the state have saved at 53 lives.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Volunteer Spotlight: Ebony Deloach


Ebony Deloach was looking for something more. After graduating from college, she was excited to give back to the community she calls home.

“The most impactful thing for me is helping others,” Deloach said.

So, she began calling around to area non-profits. She found some opportunities but wanted to do more. That’s when she found the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross. For the last five years, Deloach has been a virtual volunteer with Service to the Armed Forces and Disaster Services. 

Ebony is all smiles while talking to Red Crossers
about her passion for the organization.
One of her main responsibilities is to work with families after they experience a disaster, such as a home fire or hurricane.

“It’s important to be able to have them know that I’m going to be there for them as a caseworker to help them through the whole process,” said Deloach.

She has recently been brought on to work with the Red Cross as a full-time employee. It’s a full circle experience, she said. In addition to being a passionate member of the Red Cross team, she is also a champion for those who have disabilities. Deloach must use a wheelchair to get around, but, that’s not stopping her. In addition to working 40 hours a week, she wants to volunteer for 2,000 hours this year.

“It’s important for me to let other people with disabilities know that volunteering with the American Red Cross is possible,” she said. “I have one of the best teams in South Carolina that’s been supporting me for these last five years.”

Deloach is one of the more than 3,000 people who call themselves Red Cross volunteers in South Carolina. More than 90-percent of the Red Cross’ workforce is made up of volunteers. If you’re interested in volunteering, go to redcross.org/volunteer or call your local Red Cross office.

“It’s the best decision I ever made,” Deloach said. “Whether you have 30 minutes or three hours to give, it’s important to give back.”



Monday, April 30, 2018

Red Cross and Partners Install 1143 Smoke Alarms During Sound the Alarm Event in Greenville

Together with its local fire department partners and volunteers, the American Red Cross of Upstate SC installed 1143 smoke alarms, making more than 350 homes safer during the Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation event this past Saturday. The event was held in five areas throughout Greenville. That number exceeds the goal of 1,000 smoke alarms installed.

In addition to installing free smoke alarms, the Red Cross and its partners also replaced batteries in existing alarms and helped families create escape plans. The sponsors included Bank of America, State Farm, G and P Trucking, Elliott Davis, LLC, SC Realtor’s Association, and South of the Border. The Red Cross thanks them all for their participation.

A Red Cross volunteer from Duke Energy explains a fire escape
plan with Greenville resident, Evelyn.
It was incredibly encouraging to see how many people were willing to step in and help out their neighbors this weekend,” said Lisa Colby, executive director for the Upstate SC chapter. “The day was a big success and an important step in educating people about how to stay safe in the event they experience a home fire.”

This community-driven effort comes at a time when the number of people who need assistance from the Upstate SC chapter of the Red Cross after a home fire has increased by 26-percent, compared to the same time period last year (Jan. 1-April 26). So far this year in the Upstate, 765 people have needed assistance from the Red Cross after a home fire.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters a year, the majority of which are home fires. Working smoke alarms in a home cut the risk of death by half, and having an escape plan further improves the odds of survival. The Red Cross wants to end these tragedies and save lives, the reason why the organization launched the Home Fire Campaign in 2014.

A Red Cross volunteer looks on as a firefighter from the
Parker District installs an alarm in the Kasper household.


Across the state, the Campaign is making a difference. As of April 27th, the Palmetto SC Region of the Red Cross and its partners across the state have saved at 51 lives.

To learn more about the Home Fire Campaign, visit redcross.org. Please help us Sound the Alarm by volunteering to install smoke alarms, making a financial contribution, or taking steps to protect your own family from home fires.


Friday, April 13, 2018

Tiffany Circle Hall Legacy: The Snowdens

Nancy Snowden, one of the founding lifetime members of Lowcountry Tiffany Circle, graciously joined our Tiffany Circle Hall along with her daughter Jennifer and granddaughter Sophia.  The Snowden family donated $450,000 not only to honor three generations of Snowden women, but to recognize and support the mission of the American Red Cross (ARC). Inspired by a biography her Mother gave her of Clara Barton and her considerable contributions in establishing the American arm of the Red Cross. There were several notable Clara Barton focus quotes including:

“You must never so much think as whether you like it or not, whether it is bearable or not; you must never think of anything except the need, and how to meet it.”

“Offering a hand up is not a hand-out.”

“It irritates me to be told how things have always been done. I defy the tyranny of precedent. I cannot afford the luxury of a closed mind….I have faith in the possibility of something better.”

 “I may sometimes be willing to teach for nothing, but if paid at all, I shall never do a man’s work for less than a man’s pay.” A woman before her time!

Nancy Snowden

Nancy is an established leader, not only in the Lowcountry, but a leader in her field of clinical research across the U.S. A native of Florence, she became a nurse and served the Red Cross for four years in the late 70’s. She is now the President and Chief Executive Officer of NCGS, a contract research organization which was established in 1984.  Nancy founded NCGS with the mission of impacting health care for the future through the development of new drugs, novel diagnostics and devices.  NCGS’s philosophy is, “the research conducted on these study individuals will impact health care for the future.  These future consumers may not be anonymous; they could just as easily be your parent, sibling or yourself.”  NCGS has contributed to the approval of 58 new products primarily to fight cancer, infectious disease and CNS disorders.

Nancy’s passion for that mission burns as brightly today as it did 33 years ago. She constantly drives home the understanding that every piece of data is critical to the success of a trial, and the data NCGS collects can and will change healthcare for the future.  As respected executive, Nancy’s passion for South Carolinians, Americans and the mission of the American Red Cross is obvious. She truly puts others above herself. Most importantly, she lives her Mother’s legacy of responsibility to share with others and teach the next generation(s) to pick up the banner of giving and helping. Her Mother’s favorite phrase, “to those who are blessed, much is expected.”

Jennifer Snowden
As mentioned, Nancy’s generous donation also honors two other generations in the Snowden family. Her daughter, Jennifer, was born in Charleston and is a proud mother of James Ascher. He is also the namesake of her successful clothing boutique and is a partner in one of the family businesses, NCGS Properties. Jennifer contributed her portion from the profits of this family business. In addition, Jennifer has a massive following on social media, with more than 80,000 followers on Instagram. Prior to Ascher’s birth you could also see her on Bravo’s hit show, Southern Charm.

Sophia Snowden is a third grader at Charleston Collegiate and enjoys spending time with her family and playing with her friends.  Her favorite activities include gymnastics, ice skating and hiking. She appears to be emerging as a talented artist like her father. Though her Dad, Nancy’s son, cannot be part of the Tiffany Circle, he contributed his daughter’s portion of the contribution from profits of the family’s main research company NCGS, Inc. Doug is a partner in that firm.

Sophia Snowden

A final quote from Clara Barton which says it all about supporting the Red Cross and digging deeper within your own soul to be a part of it and attempting to be the example to friend’s family and colleagues to have a Clara Barton kind of heart.  Clara lived to be 90 and was head of the ARC up to her early 80’s. Impressive legacy.

“Although its growth may seem to have been slow, it is to be remembered that it is not a shrub, or plant, to shoot up in the summer and wither in the frosts. The Red Cross is a part of us--it has come to stay--and like the sturdy oak, its spreading branches shall yet encompass and shelter the relief of the nation.”

“Please join my family in supporting the American Red Cross.”: Nancy C. G. Snowden 

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

New Red Cross Survey Shows Many Americans Overconfident and Under-prepared for Home Fires

According to a new survey by the American Red Cross, many people overestimate their ability to react to a home fire and miss critical steps to keep their loved ones safe.

Forty percent of people believe they are more likely to win the lottery or get struck by lightning than experience a home fire. Yet, home fires are the most common disaster in this country – the majority of the nearly 64,000 disasters the Red Cross responds to every year across the country.

With comfort kits in hand,
Red Cross disaster workers help a man after his
Sumter home caught fire. 
Throughout South Carolina this year, already more than 2500 people have been impacted by a home fire.

 According to the survey:

·      More than three-fourths (80 percent) of people surveyed believe everyone in their household knows what to do when a smoke alarm goes off. But less than half have a home fire escape plan in place. And only half of the families that do have a plan have actually practiced it.
  • Home fire experts say that people have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home. However, the survey showed nearly 60 percent of people mistakenly believe they have much more time than is realistic.
  • Even though many admit to actions that could contribute to a home fire, only one out of four (27 percent) people think that they are likely to experience a home fire in their lifetime.
·         About 40 percent of people have forgotten to turn off a stove or oven, even though cooking is the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries
·         More than one-third (34 percent) of people have used a stove, kerosene lantern or space heater to warm their home. The fact is that heating equipment is involved in one of every five home fire deaths.
·         Some progress is being made. More people are replacing batteries (a 9 percent increase vs. 2015) and testing to make sure their smoke alarms are working (an 11 percent increase vs. 2015).

Americans overwhelmingly believe that smoke alarms can save lives, yet one out of ten (12 percent) people have had to give up buying other essentials for their families to purchase a smoke alarm. This highlights just how critical the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign is. Launched in 2014, the Red Cross and campaign partners have already installed more than 1.1 million free smoke alarms and reached 1 million children through preparedness programs. These efforts are already credited with helping to save 381 lives. Learn more.

SOUND THE ALARM This spring, the Palmetto SC region will Sound the Alarm against home fires on May 12 throughout Charleston County, teaching residents about home fire safety and installing free smoke alarms.

For Greenville, sign-up here: rdcrss.org/2GBOp8w
For Charleston, sign-up here: rdcrss.org/2q7xi41

Join the Red Cross today by volunteering to install smoke alarms, making a financial contribution, or taking steps to protect your own family from home fires. Together, we can Sound the Alarm about fire safety and help save lives.

This work is made possible thanks to generous financial donations from national partners: Almost Family, Delta Air Lines and International Paper. The Red Cross has also received funding from FEMA through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

Supplemental Information about Survey Methodology
The national public opinion survey was conducted for the Red Cross in August 2017 using the research firm Issues & Answers. The study was conducted among a national sample of 604 American adults. The total sample is balanced to be representative of the US adult population in terms of age, sex, geographic region, race and education. The margin of error for the total sample is +/- 4 percent.


Tuesday, April 3, 2018

Number of South Carolinians Impacted by Home Fires Increased in March

March was another busy month for disaster-trained volunteers with the Palmetto SC Region of the American Red Cross. 801 South Carolinians called on the Red Cross to help them after a home fire in March. That’s an increase of nearly 16-percent from last year.

The number of families impacted by home fires last month also increased by 24-percent to 285 cases. Every time the Red Cross responds to a fire, the organization provides emergency assistance and guides people through the recovery process.

A Lowcountry SC volunteer helps a woman after a fire
destroyed her home in Ravenel.
“As these numbers show, Red Cross disaster-trained volunteers continue to be very busy helping families recover from devastating home fires,” said Louise Welch Williams, Regional CEO for the Palmetto SC Region. “Families can have as little as two minutes to escape from a fire, which is why it’s so important they have working smoke alarms and a fire safety plan in place.”

The Red Cross remains committed to helping families in that effort. Sound the Alarm is a nation-wide event where volunteers and partners will work to install 100,000 smoke alarms in communities throughout the country. The Palmetto SC Red Cross is still looking for volunteers to help at two signature events in South Carolina: April 28th in Greenville County and May 12th in Charleston County. To sign-up to volunteer, go to soundthealarm.org.

“By volunteering with the Red Cross, someone can truly make a difference in someone’s life,” Williams said. “Please join us and help Sound the Alarm by volunteering on April 28th or May 12th.”