(Fargo, ND) --  This spring, American Red Cross volunteers and community partners are working together through a national Sound the Alarm effort to educate people about home fire safety. 

This initiative will reach 100,000 people, including households in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota. From the comfort of their homes, people can sign up to schedule a free virtual Home Fire Safety session or to receive a smoke alarm installation visit when it is safe to do so. 

“Home fires remain the most frequent disaster during COVID-19, yet most of us don’t realize we have just two minutes to safely escape,” said Phil Hansen, Regional Executive Director, Red Cross Minnesota and Dakotas Region. “We’re grateful for the support of our volunteers and partners to help prevent needless fire tragedies.”

The Red Cross does have a few tips when it comes to fire response and safety, including:

  • Create an escape plan with at least two ways to exit every room in your home. 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 knows to meet.
  • Practice your escape plan until everyone in your household can get out in less than two minutes.
  • Place smoke alarms on each level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Change the batteries at least once a year if your model requires it.
  • Check the manufacturer’s date of your smoke alarms. If they’re 10 years or older, they likely need to be replaced. Follow your alarm’s manufacturer instructions.

You can sign up for the free sessions by clicking here.