This year your American Red Cross helped more people affected by home fires than all other disasters combined. Local volunteers responded at all hours of the day with food, blankets and comfort to help 15, 620 Texans with nowhere else to turn after home fires from Jan. 1 to Dec. 1, 2014.

The Red Cross also provided financial support to 4,712 households after home fires to help replace lost belongings and begin the long road to recovery. Nationally, the Red Cross responds to a disaster in the community every 8 minutes and the vast majority of these are home fires.

“While tornadoes, floods and hurricanes tend to dominate the headlines, people often underestimate the frequency and devastation caused by home fires, and that’s where the Red Cross comes in,” said Steve Vetrano, Chief Executive Officer, Texas Gulf Coast Region, American Red Cross.  “Our work doesn’t end after the smoke clears, every day local volunteers are helping people to recover and get better prepared.”

Curbing Deaths and Injuries from Home Fires

Because of the high number of home fires in this country, the Red Cross launched a campaign this year to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent over the next five years. The organization is asking every household in America to take two simple steps: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home.

Since the campaign launched in October, the Red Cross—in partnership with fire departments and community groups nationwide—has already reached more than 29,000 people by installing 17,000 smoke alarms. These efforts have already saved five lives nationwide.  Within the Texas, we’ve reached 2,095 people by installing over 850 smoke alarms.

Our work is made possible by the generosity of the American public. You can help people affected by disasters big and small by making a gift to Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables us to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters. You can donate by visiting, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your donation helps provide food, shelter and emotional support to those affected by disasters.