As you can see from the number above, Red Cross volunteers respond to on average, one home fire each day in the greater Columbus area. This means that at least once a day a family watches as their belongings are claimed by the flames, yet they stand together grateful to be alive. Unfortunately that also means that there are times when local residents don’t escape the fire – this year our volunteers responded to seven fires where loved ones perished. The American Red Cross’ mission is to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters – including the number one disaster in our community and across the country – home fires. So in honor of Fire Prevention Week (October 4 – 10) we are asking you to help us spread the word about the simple steps every family can take to prevent fires in their home. Steps include:
- If a fire occurs in your home, GET OUT, STAY OUT and CALL for help.
- Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside sleeping areas and outside sleeping areas. Test them every month and replace the batteries at least once a year.
- Talk with everyone in the home about a fire escape plan and practice the plan twice a year.
Get our complete Fire Safety and Prevention checklist here. We also offer a free 30-minute Be Red Cross Ready presentation for groups, organizations and businesses. In fact, we were in Grove City a couple of weeks ago speaking to a group of senior citizens about preparing for disasters in their apartment complex. This presentation is free and offers great resources for getting a jump-start on your personal preparedness including getting a disaster supplies kit, making a plan – including a fire escape plan and being informed about the disasters that can happen where you live and work. Email me to get a speaker for your group and help us prepare yourself, your co-workers, friends and family so that we are all ready in the event of a fire or other disaster in our area.