Lives saved because of you

Dear Editor:

Earlier this year, the American Red Cross and its partners launched an ambitious campaign that aims to reduce home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent over the next 5 years. Every day, our staff and volunteers respond to home fires and other emergencies approximately every 8 minutes, so we see the devastation that home fires can cause – and the difference we can make by working together to prevent them.

It’s not often that you get to see the tangible difference your support is making. That’s why I wanted to share a story with you. It’s the story of multiple lives saved because of a smoke alarm installed as part of our home fire campaign. A smoke alarm that was installed because of the support of people like you.

Glen’s story

Glen Riley of New Orleans was jolted awake at 3 a.m. by the sound of a smoke alarm. A fire had broken out in his three-unit building and was silently spreading up the walls.

Glen woke up his family and neighbors immediately. The building was ultimately destroyed by the fire, but everyone in the building – including a two-month-old baby – made it out safely.

The smoke alarm that saved 11 lives that morning had been installed just months before as part of the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, in partnership with the New Orleans Fire Department. Since the campaign began, the Red Cross and its partners have installed smoke alarms in almost 2,000 cities and towns across all 50 states.

With the help of supporters like you, we can dramatically reduce the number of deaths and injuries by home fires. What we’re doing together – educating communities on preventing home fires, installing lifesaving smoke alarms and helping fire victims pick up the pieces and get back on their feet – is making a difference.

For that, we can’t thank you enough.


Lauri Rhinehart

VP, Humanitarian Services

American Red Cross


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