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February 6, 2018

American Red Cross & Partners Promote Fire Safety

Guest Columnist

Home fires are dangerous and costly. They can strike at any time, and frequently result in the loss of property, pets, and sadly, even loved ones. Fires are also more common than many people realize.

If this week is like an average one, the American Red Cross Disaster Services program will help 33 Wisconsin families begin to recover from home fires. With the help of volunteers and partners like the United Way of Sheboygan County, the Red Cross is also taking proactive steps to prevent tragedies before they occur.

To help reduce the number of home fire-related injuries and deaths, the American Red Cross launched the Home Fire Campaign in 2014. Together with our partners, the Red Cross combines grassroots neighbor-to-neighbor engagement and comprehensive public relations outreach. This means direct services in our communities, including free smoke alarm installations and fire safety education in Sheboygan County.

The Red Cross Home Fire Campaign focuses on populations that are especially vulnerable to home fires, such as youth and senior citizens, providing lifesaving fire-prevention and -preparedness information and tools.

In a September 2017 collaboration, Red Cross volunteers worked with Meals on Wheels to install about a dozen alarms in homes of Meals on Wheels program participants in Sheboygan and Plymouth, Wisconsin. Working smoke alarms double a person’s chance of surviving a fire, making these homes significantly safer for residents.

In addition to installing new smoke alarms with ten-year, long-life lithium batteries, Red Cross volunteers provided fire safety tips and education to the Meals on Wheels participants. Empowered with the right tools and knowledge, people can take simple steps to protect themselves and their and property.

Since the start of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, we have documented 332 lives saved as a direct result of our smoke alarm installs and education—including three people in the state of Wisconsin.

Thanks in large part to resources from supporters like the United Way of Sheboygan County, and strategic partnerships with local organizations, the Red Cross continues to make a difference with these lifesaving efforts right here in Sheboygan County.

To request a free smoke alarm installation appointment for your home, Wisconsin residents can visit getasmokealarm.org or text “Alarm” to 844-811-0100.

Column Submitted By: 

Viv Chappell, Grants Specialist
American Red Cross – Wisconsin Region
4860 Sheboygan Avenue, Madison, WI 53705
608-232-5830 | viv.chappell@redcross.org

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