Red Cross volunteers to share free home fire safety resources

Households in Minnesota, North Dakota and South Dakota can sign up for free virtual Home Fire Safety sessions through the American Red Cross, and to receive a smoke alarm installation visit when COVID restrictions permit.

The effort is part of the national Sound the Alarm effort to educate people about home fire safety. To register, visit

“Home fires remain the most frequent disaster during COVID-19, yet most of us don’t realize we have just two minutes to safely escape,” said Phil Hansen, regional executive director of the Red Cross Minnesota and Dakotas Region. “We’re grateful for the support of our volunteers and partners to help prevent needless fire tragedies.”

Households can protect against home fires by taking two steps: Practice a two-minute escape drill and test your smoke alarms monthly.

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Other tips:

  • Create an escape plan with at least two ways to exit every room in your home. Select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone knows to meet.
  • Practice your escape plan until everyone in your household can get out in less than two minutes.
  • Place smoke alarms on each level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Change the batteries at least once a year if your model requires it.
  • Check the manufacturer’s date of your smoke alarms. If they’re 10 years or older, they likely need to be replaced. Follow your alarm’s manufacturer instructions.