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St. Louis, MO (KSDK) - The American Red Cross is helping local families and businesses protect themselves and loved ones in observance of National Fire Prevention Week (October 7 - 13).

The Red Cross responded to approximately 63,000 house fires across the country, nearly one fire every nine minutes. Cindy Erickson, Regional CEO of the Red Cross, said the St. Louis area averages about three house fires per day.

Additional recommendations include:

--Install smoke alarms on every level of the house and inside bedrooms.
--Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Test each alarm monthly by pushing the test button.
--Ensure that household members know two ways to escape from every room and designate a place to meet outside of your house in case of a fire. Practice your plan at least twice a year.
--Follow your escape plan in case of fire. Get out, stay out, and call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.
--Download the FREE American Red Cross First Aid App to get access to life-saving information on what to do for common, everyday first aid emergencies. The app is available in theApple App Store and on Google Play for Android.

Visit www.redcross.org/homefires for additional fire safety tips.

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