Red Cross offers fire prevention tips

CINCINNATI — October is Fire Prevention Awareness Month.

The biggest disaster threat in the United States isn’t floods, hurricanes or tornadoes. It’s fires. Home fires can happen quickly, devastating lives and property, but unlike other disasters, most home fires can be prevented.

The Red Cross recommends two easy steps to help protect homes and to increase chances of surviving a fire: create and practice a fire escape plan and install and maintain smoke alarms.

Home fire plans should include at least two ways to escape from every room of the house. Select a meeting spot at a safe distance from the home where family members can meet after a fire. Discuss the plan with everyone in the household and practice it at least twice per year.

Place smoke alarms on every level of the home, including inside and outside bedrooms. Test smoke alarms once per month. Change batteries at least once per year, if the model requires it. Never disable a smoke alarm. Contact the Red Cross to have free smoke alarms installed.