SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – When it comes to catastrophes, the Red Cross found house fires the top disaster threat for Massachusetts residents. This past year 4,850 people were left homeless because of a fire, and many of those fires were preventable.
“People don’t really know what to do with a cooking fire at first, you have to take different precautions with a grease fire than you do with an electrical fire,” said Steve Wrona of West Springfield.
The National Fire Protection Association reports careless cooking caused nearly 43% of house fires. That’s why you want to make sure you always have a fire extinguisher nearby.If there is a grease fire, you need to smother it, not throw water on it. That will only make things worse.
Due to the high number of fires, the Red Cross is launching a campaign to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25% over the next five years.
“There’s been an alarming rate recently of people who have lost their lives where maybe a working smoke detector (CUE) would have been able to help them,” said Mary Nathan, the Red Cross Disaster Program manager.
The Red Cross campaign includes working with local fire departments to help install more smoke detectors in your homes. So far this year in the Pioneer Valley, the Red Cross has helped more than 150 families find another place to stay.
The Red Cross is not a federally funded organization. Their funds to help others come from your donations. To learn more about the organization or to make a donation, Click Here.