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Through Home Fire Campaign saves 916 lives
July 27, 2021

MEMPHIS - The American Red Cross announced that 916  lives have been saved through efforts nationwide since the start of the Home Fire Campaign. Six of those lives were identified as being saved in the Memphis area.

Every eight minutes, the American Red Cross responds to a disaster in the U.S. – the vast majority of which are home fires. And tragically, seven people die in home fires each day, most in homes that lack working smoke alarms.

Launched in 2014, the Home Fire Campaign has reached more than 2.4 million people. It has saved 916 lives across the country to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires. Fires take an average of seven lives each day in the U.S. Through the campaign more than 2.2 million smoke detectors have been installed across the country.

“Home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster, and we want to ensure everyone know to protect themselves and their loved ones from these everyday crises,” said Joel Sullivan, regional executive director for the American Red Cross Tennessee Region. “We are grateful for the support of our volunteers and partners to help prevent needless fire tragedies.”

In the early evening of Dec. 14, 2019, in Memphis, Mary Wallace, gathered with friends to watch a wrestling match when smoke alarms sounded, alerting them to a home fire. Wallace used her home fire escape plan from a visit from volunteers of the American Red Cross to get everyone out safely.

Just eight months before, the family took part in an in-home visit on April 30 when Red Cross volunteers installed three smoke alarms in their home. Volunteers then helped the family develop a home fire escape plan and reviewed a home fire safety checklist. Wallace was so appreciative of the Red Cross she asked that the Red Cross visit her family in their new home to install smoke alarms and review home fire escape planning. The same volunteer, Ron Killebrew, who installed the alarms in the home that burned in 2019, did the alarm installation in her new home this July. Killebrew’s visit marked more than 914,800 households made safe by the Red Cross since 2014.

Through the Home Fire Campaign in Tennessee Region, the American Red Cross and local partners have installed more than 50,300 free smoke alarms since the program began. The Home Fire Campaign has three primary goals:

• Reduce home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent.

• Increase the number of home fire responses by 10 percent; and

• Improve assistance provided to home fire victims.

This work is made possible thanks to generous financial donations from regional partners.

Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late. As part of the campaign, the Red Cross asks every household to talk with their loved ones about fire safety and take two simple steps: Check your smoke alarms monthly and practice your home fire escape plan at least twice a year.

Visit for free fire safety information and resources, including a home fire escape plan to develop and practice with your household. People can also contact their local Red Cross to find out about smoke alarm installation events in their community.

GET INVOLVED The Red Cross depends on the generous support of the American public to fulfill its humanitarian mission. To support our lifesaving work, please consider volunteering or making a donation by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 gift.

For more information on the American Red Cross, please visit or on Twitter at @RedCrossTN.

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