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Red Cross sees increase in Idaho home fires

BOISE, Idaho (KIFI) — The American Red Cross is responding to significantly more home fires in Idaho this year than last.

During the first three months of the year, the Red Cross has responded to 60 home fires in Idaho and provided immediate assistance like lodging, food and mental health support to 143 people. That represents about a 28% increase in the number of Red Cross home fire responses in Idaho compared to the same period in 2020.

It's a stark reminder that home fires can happen to anyone at any time.

The organization is encouraging you to sign up for free, virtual home fire safety education that could save lives.

The training takes about 15 minutes and teaches you how to develop a plan for safely escaping your home during a fire, highlights the importance of smoke alarms and covers essential fire prevention tips.

The Red Cross reports families, on average, have only two minutes to safely get out of their home during a fire, so having an escape plan that can be practiced with every member of the household is critical.

“Just 15 minutes of training could make all the difference during chaos and confusion that comes with a fire,” said Ted Koenig, the regional disaster officer for the Red Cross of Idaho and Montana. “We unfortunately are seeing more homes fires in Idaho in 2021 including several lives lost during these fires, and we strongly encourage people to sign up for this free education and to encourage your friends, family and neighbors to do the same.”

You can sign up for free Red Cross home fire safety education HERE or by calling 800-272-6668.

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