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October is fire prevention month

The American Red Cross of Northeastern New York is emphasizing fire safety this October during National Fire Prevention Month.

The Red Cross encourages people to take steps to minimize the risk of fires in their homes by identifying and removing potential hazards. In the event of a fire, it’s important to have an emergency response plan.

Caroline1 “You definitely want to make sure your smoke alarms are working properly and you want to have a plan for evacuation of your home.”

That was Red Cross representative Caroline Boardman. She said being prepared for a fire or other disaster is essential.

Caroline3 “You want to be prepared and have all your paperwork together in case something does happen. Get everyone out of the house and call 911 as soon as possible.”

Boardman emphasized how important it is to conduct a fire drill in the home.

“A lot of people don’t do it at all. You know we do it at work and in school but we don’t do it in our own home. And most of the time that’s where [fires occur]”.

Nationally, the number of home fires is on the rise with the number of fires increasing eight percent since 2000. The average cost of a home fire in 2006 was more than $17,000.

Home fires are the single most common disaster across the nation, yet only 26 percent of families have actually developed and practiced a home fire escape plan.

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