Two days before Thanksgiving, firefighters in Gwinnett County worked for more than 30 minutes to get a fire at an apartment complex under control. By the time the fire was out, eight of the 10 units at the Robinwood Condominiums had been destroyed and about 30 people lost their homes.
The Norcross fire was one of five apartment fires in metro Atlanta so far this month. In those fires, 56 units were heavily damaged or destroyed, and 108 people were displaced, according to the Red Cross of Georgia.
It’s not known what caused all of the November fires. Fall and winter months are the peak season for home fires, officials say, as people use fireplaces, space heaters and furnaces to stay warm.
The emergency assistance organization reports:
- On average, U.S. home fires kill seven people a day, and are blamed for 2,500 deaths each year. They kill more Americans than all other disasters combined.
- Every 40 minutes a fire-related injury is reported.
- Home fires cause about $7 billion in property damage each year.
- There were 154 home fire-related deaths in Georgia last year.
- The Red Cross in Georgia respond to more home fires than any other Red Cross region in the country.
So how can you escape from and even prevent house and apartment fires? The Red Cross advises residents to:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
- Test smoke alarms every month and change the batteries if they aren’t working.
- Talk with family members about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
- If a fire occurs in your home, get out, stay out and call for help. Never go back inside for anyone or anything.
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