ROCHESTER, Minn. – In the United States, seven people die in a fire each day. That’s why the American Red Cross is launching the National Home Fire Campaign in hopes of preventing fires.
The goal is to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25-percent over the next five years.
Over the past week, at least nine people were killed in house fires in Iowa and at least six in Minnesota.
That’s why the Rochester Fire Department is joining in the Red Cross’ efforts to ensure people have smoke alarms and check to make sure they’re working properly.
“It's been proven statistically every year that you're twice as likely to survive a home fire if you have working smoke detectors in the home,” Capt. Brett Knapp of the Rochester Fire Department said. “So it's highly important people make sure they have detectors, that they're working and that they're testing them regularly so they know that they'll function in case there is a fire.”
With the cold weather, the fire department also stresses for people to pay attention to their heat sources.
“This time of year, especially as we get into these really cold, deep part of the winter, Minnesota winter temperatures, people start using more space heaters, candles start coming out, we have holiday lighting, people are cooking more,” Knapp said. “There's just more potential ignition sources in people's homes this time of year.”