Red Cross saves lives

When the American Red Cross launched the Home Fire Campaign in the fall of 2014, it was with one objective: to prevent the tragic loss of life due to home fires. Since then, the South Carolina Region has helped lead the national effort to make homes safer alongside partners, including State Fire and local fire departments throughout the state. The collaborative efforts successfully led to 106 lives saved, as confirmed by the responding agencies and documentation of prior outreach activities.

“We’re proud to share this wonderful news of how the outstanding partnership between the Red Cross and our partners is making a difference by preventing tragedies in the communities we serve,” said Rod Tolbert, CEO of the American Red Cross of South Carolina. “Nothing warms my heart quite like seeing a ‘Lives-Saved’ confirmation that demonstrates just how critical these fire prevention and safety education programs are for our neighbors and the impact of our work.”

The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign brings together community partners and Red Cross volunteers to educate at-risk community members about the dangers home fires pose and how to protect individuals in case of a fire. Activities include smoke alarm installation blitzes and volunteers meeting with families to create escape plans during annual “Sound the Alarm” events. Additionally, youth disaster preparedness programs teach children to prepare for and respond to disasters like home fires.

“Over the past eight years, the South Carolina Region of the American Red Cross has been proud to set an example for other Red Cross regions throughout the U.S.,” said Tony Reid, Regional Disaster Officer for the Red Cross of South Carolina. “Along with our partners like Fire Safe SC, local fire departments, and other community agencies, we’ve tested and refined a model that has proven to help save lives and is now in practice across the country. We’ll continue to learn and evolve both our home fire responses and our outreach programs to continue to save more South Carolinian lives.”

South Carolina Home Fire Campaign by the numbers since October 2014:
90,382 – number of smoke alarms installed in South Carolina homes
70,254 – number of people served by the campaign
27,121 – number of households made safer
14,167 – number of youths served
561 – number of deaf and hard of hearing alarms installed
106 – number of lives saved since the beginning of the campaign, including 34 children

“State Fire and fire departments across our state celebrate this news with continued appreciation for our valuable partnership with Red Cross of South Carolina,” said Josh Fulbright, SC State Fire Community Risk Reduction Chief. “Since the start of this campaign, our teams have worked side-by-side with local fire service members to make citizens safer in their homes by installing alarms and sharing fire and life safety educational messages. We are thankful that the Red Cross of South Carolina has been a long-standing partner and we look forward to our continued partnership as more local fire departments seek Fire Safe SC Community Designation.”

Every day, the Red Cross of South Carolina responds to an average of six home fires, the most frequent disaster in our state. As the lifeblood of our organization, volunteers enable the Red Cross to respond to disasters whenever and wherever they occur. More volunteers are needed to join Disaster Action Teams and support fire prevention and home fire safety programs. Training is free, but the hope volunteers provide is priceless. You can make a difference by turning tragedy into hope. Visit to get started.