With the unprecedented year of hurricanes, wildfires, and mudslides the country experienced in 2017, it may be hard to believe that the most common and deadliest disaster in America is home fire. In a typical year, home fires kill more people than all other natural disasters combined in the United States. Every day seven people are killed and another 36 people suffer injuries because of home fires. And annually, the American Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters – more than 200 on Long Island alone – the clear majority of which are home fires. For survivors who may have lost everything, a Red Cross volunteer is often among the first on the scene – offering emotional support, helping families find a place to stay and assisting with recovery. To save lives and help end fire tragedies, the Red Cross launched a nationwide Home Fire Campaign in 2014. The goal of the campaign is to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. The campaign includes Sound the Alarm, a series of home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events. During a local Sound the Alarm event, Red Cross volunteers, and partners canvass high-risk neighborhoods to install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms and help families create escape plans. This program is making a difference. As of March 2018, the Red Cross and its partners have saved at least 381 lives through the Home Fire Campaign. The campaign installed over 1 million free smoke alarms, including over 2500 on Long Island. The Red Cross is grateful for the service and support from its local partners for this initiative, including local fire departments, Bridgehampton National Bank, Casual Home Worldwide, NationalGrid, Northwell Health, NYU Winthrop Hospital, and PSEGLongIsland. There is still much to do to help protect families across Long Island. This spring, you can volunteer to Sound the Alarm with the Red Cross on Sunday, April 29, 2018, or Friday, May 11, 2018. You can serve as an installer, an educator, or help with planning and logistics. There is an opportunity for everyone to contribute to helping end home fires on Long Island.

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To learn more, get involved, or request a FREE smoke alarm, visit www.soundthealarm.org/LI or call 516-229-1086.