The Vermont Foodbank and the American Red Cross are proud to partner on a Home Fire Preparedness & Safety Campaign with the goal of reducing the number of deaths and injuries caused by fire.

When the Foodbank was approached by the American Red Cross to see if we would help, it didn’t take long to realize the value of their undertaking.  Here are just a few reasons why we chose to join with the Red Cross:

  • Home fires kill an average of seven people every day.
  • Every 40 minutes, an injury from a home fire is reported.
  • Each year, home fires impact more Americans than floods, hurricanes and tornadoes combined.
  • Right here in Vermont, the Red Cross responded to 200 house and apartment fires over the past year to help our neighbors as they started their road to recovery.  That number is 100% greater than it was just five years ago.

Vermont Foodbank American Red CrossWhen reflecting on the importance of a partnership like this, Vermont Foodbank CEO, John Sayles said, “The safety of our families is paramount in all we do.  Preventing life changing tragedies like a major fire helps families remain self-sufficient and moving ahead.  The Vermont Foodbank network can be a great resource in spreading the word about this important campaign.”

In the first step of a five-year American Red Cross initiative to reduce deaths and injuries associated with home fires by 25%, our local Red Cross has focused its attention on an information and education campaign.  This has included direct door-to-door canvassing in several communities hard hit by fire and forging relationships with partners, like the Vermont Foodbank and our partner food shelves, to help get out important fire prevention and safety information.

Larry Crist, Regional Executive of the Vermont & the New Hampshire Upper Valley American Red Cross, noted, “This partnership is recognizes that no one organization can achieve this important goal alone.”

The Vermont Foodbank is proud to say that through our BackPack program for kids, our Commodity Supplemental Food Program (CSFP) that supports older Vermonters, and by working with over 100 food shelf partners, this month we will distribute information to 20,000 households.

“At the heart of our message is that there are two simple steps we hope people will take today to keep themselves and their families safe: check existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home,” said Crist.

  • A working smoke alarm cuts the risk of dying in a home fire in half. 
  • With regard to a fire escape plan, the time to act is now.  A majority of Americans think they have at least five minutes to escape.  The truth is that you will have less than two.

We would encourage you to take a few minutes to learn more fire safety tips and to download a Home Fire Escape Plan you can complete for your home or apartment.

Vermont Foodbank American Red Cross