Texas Gulf Coast Red Cross Communications Manager Vanessa Valdez consoles Miriam Solis who looks at her family’s apartment that was completely demolished during the apartment fire at the Sedona Square Apartments in Houston. 

Red Cross Encourages Community to Test Smoke Alarms, Practice Escape Plans

The American Red Cross of the Texas Gulf Coast is helping dozens of people affected by today’s fire at the Sedona Square Apartment complex in Houston.  

The Red Cross is currently on the scene providing emergency financial assistance, relief items like toiletries, blankets and other items, and one-on-one support to connect people to available recovery assistance. If you have been affected by this fire and have not met with the Red Cross already, please call 1-800-Red-Cross to connect with one of our dedicated caseworkers. 

“Our hearts go out to our neighbors who were impacted by the horrible apartment fire,” said Charles K. Blake, Jr., Regional Chief Executive Officer for the Texas Gulf Coast Red Cross. “Because these disasters can happen anytime, anywhere, please help stay safe by testing your smoke alarms each month and practicing your home fire escape plan until everyone in your household can escape in two minutes or less.”

HOW TO STAY SAFE Apartment Residents can follow these tips to help stay safe:

  • Learn the building’s fire safety features, including fire alarms, sprinklers and evacuation plans. 
  • Make sure all exits are clearly marked and not blocked. 
  • Know locations of all available exit stairwells, as one or more of the exits might be blocked by fire. 
  • Individuals with access or functional needs, including a disability, should learn where the closest area of safe refuge is. 
  • Identify a meeting place for members of your household that is outside and away from the building.
  • Talk to your apartment management if you have concerns about alarms or sprinklers in your unit.
  • If smoke or fire enters your unit and you cannot immediately escape, call 9-1-1 to report your location. Open a window slightly; wave a bright cloth or a light at night to identify your location. If smoke enters the unit, stay low to the floor to breathe the best air.

For home fire safety resources and tips, visit redcross.org/fire or download the free Red Cross Emergency App (search “American Red Cross” in app stores or go to redcross.org/apps).

To help those affected by home fires and apartment fires such as this one, please go to redcross.org/donate or call 1-800-Red Cross. 

OUR CAMPAIGN TO #ENDHOMEFIRES Home fires take seven lives each day in the U.S., most often in homes without working smoke alarms. That’s why the Red Cross is working with partners to install free smoke alarms in high-risk communities and help families create escape plans through its Home Fire Campaign — which has saved at least 1,356 lives across the country since launching in October 2014.