Red Cross, Elkhart Fire Dept. to distribute smoke alarms in Elkhart

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The following information was sent to 95.3 MNC from the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign will visit Elkhart neighborhoods on Saturday, November 19, 2016 starting at 12:00 pm to install free smoke alarms in homes that need them and teach people about what they can do now to be prepared should a fire break out in their home.

Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire. The Red Cross Home Fire Campaign aims to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires by as much as 25 percent over the next few years. The Red Cross and thousands of campaign partners have helped save numerous lives and installed more than a quarter of a million smoke alarms in homes all across the country since the campaign launched in October of 2014.

The Red Cross has partnered with Elkhart Fire and community groups to install smoke alarms in Elkhart, and encourage everyone to practice their fire escape plans. “Installing smoke alarms cuts the risk of someone dying from a home fire in half, so we’re joining with  groups from across our community  to install smoke alarms,” said Chief Chad Carey, Fire Chief at Elkhart Fire. “We also will be teaching people how to be safe from home fire.”

SIMPLE STEPS TO SAVE LIVES Even as the Red Cross and other groups install smoke alarms in some neighborhoods, they are calling on everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: create and practice their home fire escape plan and check their smoke alarms.

There are several things families and individuals can do to increase their chances of surviving a fire:

  • If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Local building codes vary and there may be additional requirements where someone lives.
  • If someone does have alarms, test them today. If they don’t work, replace them.
  • Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.
  • Practice that plan. What’s the household’s escape time?

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS People can learn how to help prevent a home fire and what to do if one occurs by downloading the Red Cross Emergency App. Children can earn points and incentives in a fun, gaming environment while learning how to prevent a home fire and other emergencies in the Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies App. The First Aid App has information on what to do for burns, broken bones, and breathing and cardiac emergencies. The apps can be downloaded for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.

WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO People can visit redcross.org/homefires to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire. They can become a Red Cross volunteer by contacting the Elkhart office at (574) 293-6519. They can also help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. We respond to nearly 66,000 other disasters every year and most of these are home fires.

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