WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) — The American Red Cross of Kansas has responded to over a dozen fires at single-family and multifamily residences in the first week of 2022.

At the current rate, the Red Cross of Kansas will see a 5% increase in home fire responses for 2022.

The American Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that offers shelter, food, and emotional support to victims of disasters. They also supply about 40% of the nation’s blood, teach skills that save lives, provide international humanitarian aid, and support military members and their families. They depend on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform their mission.

In 2021, the Red Cross of Kansas responded to roughly 700 home fires across the state.

“Most of us are spending a lot of time at home. Working from home is the new normal for many. Winter weather is keeping us inside. The ongoing pandemic is also keeping us housebound,” said Regional Preparedness Program Manager Linda Medford. “This can lead to an uptick in home fires with the two top causes of home fires at the forefront: cooking and heating.” 

Red Cross has already responded to over 600 home fires nationwide in the first week of 2022.

SAFETY TIPS  

  • Test smoke alarms monthly and replace those 10 years old or older
  • Practice your escape plan until everyone can get out of your home in less than 2 minutes 
  • Move items that can burn, like dishtowels, bags and paper, away from the stove
  • Portable heaters and fireplaces should never be left unattended. Turn off space heaters and make sure any embers in the fireplace are extinguished before going to bed or leaving home

For more safety tips, visit redcross.org