Last year across the United States there were nearly 370,000 house fires, causing more than 2,700 deaths and 12,000 injuries.
This year, the American Red Cross helped more people affected by home fires than all other disasters combined. In Wisconsin, locally trained workers responded to help more than 3,451 people after home fires.
Spokesperson Barbara Behling says 7 people die each day in house fires. She says most house fires are preventable....
"....part of that is to prevent the fires and by having a working smoke detector and an escape plan, it increases our chance of survival by 50 percent...."
Behling says sometimes people ignore the beeping in a smoke detector, thinking it's a defect in the appliance. She says get a lithium battery and check the smoke detector every six months.
Behling says statistics show you have less than two minutes to get out of a burning house. She says it's critical to be able to get out of a burning residence quickly amid the smoke and darkness. She says have an escape plan and have a plan with other family members so you know where to meet in an emergency. She says that may be through the front door or a side window. She says a great way to practice is to get out of the house with your eyes closed...
"....make it a fire drill with your entire family. Once you get outside, where do you meet? The last thing we want is for everyone to be outside but not know it and then someone runs back into the home and there they perish..."
She says there have been people who think someone didn't get out of burning structure who went back in, only to be killed. Often the person got out of the house but hadn't located family members.
More information is on the American Red Cross website.