SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Two separate fires Sunday sparked in South Ogden and Murray as families rushed out and are left without homes and belongings.

As the American Red Cross begins its 100th Fire Prevention Week, the American Red Cross of Utah urges residents to create and practice a two-minute home fire escape plan.

According to the American Red Cross, a house fire is the nation’s most frequent disaster and it is important to check smoke alarms and to always be prepared for a home fire.

“Fire experts say you may only have two minutes to safely escape a home fire before it’s too late,” said Jeremiah Lafranca, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Greater Salt Lake Chapter. “Most people don’t realize they only have two minutes to escape a home fire or that smoke alarms need to be replaced every 10 years. Taking action with this knowledge can be the difference between survival and tragedy.”

House fires can leave families devastated and in need of immediate assistance and Fire Prevention Week, which started in 1922, intends to educate the public about how to stay safe during fires.

Throughout Utah’s Fire Prevention Week, residents interested in fire prevention assistance can schedule an appointment for a free smoke alarm installation here. During the visit, the Red Cross will also share information about house fires, how to prevent them, what to do if a fire starts and how to create an escape plan.

According to the Red Cross when creating a two-minute escape plan here is how to get started:

  • Select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home.
  • Place smoke alarms on each level of your home.
  • Teach children what a smoke alarm sounds like.
  • Check the manufacturer’s date of your smoke alarm.
  • Include at least two ways to exit every room.
  • Tailor your escape plan to everyone’s needs.
  • Practice your plan.

For more information about the American Red Cross tips and safety during a fire visit redcross.org.