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Red Cross Volunteers to Canvass Council Bluffs Neighborhoods

Fire Safety Canvassing
Fire is the biggest disaster threat to American families—not floods, hurricanes or tornadoes. -- Jill Orton, Loess Hills Executive Officer

The American Red Cross Loess Hills Chapter is partnering with the Council Bluffs Fire Department and several community partners for a fire canvassing event in Council Bluffs this Saturday, May 11, 2013 between 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. The coalition will canvass the Franklin School neighborhood. Council Bluffs Fire Chief Alan Byers said, “In the last ten years, this area suffered 221 residential structure fires resulting in the loss of life of a 4-year old, four other people suffered serious injuries and property damage exceeds 3.3 million dollars.” In an effort to reduce such tragic events, Red Cross volunteers will go door-to-door talking to people about how to prevent home fires and how to escape safely should a fire occur.

“Fire is the biggest disaster threat to American families—not floods, hurricanes or tornadoes,” said Jill Orton, Loess Hills Executive Officer. “And home fires are one disaster that may be prevented when people understand how to protect their families.”

Volunteers will talk to residents who are available, to make certain they have a working smoke detector and will leave safety-tip door hangers for people who are not at home. The door hangers, printed in both English and Spanish, provide cooking and heating tips, and also highlight the importance of smoke alarms and the need to create and practice a fire escape plan.

Nationally, on average, the Red Cross provides food, shelter, comfort and hope to people affected by approximately 63,000 fires every year, or about one fire every eight minutes. In 2012, Nebraska/SW Iowa Region Red Cross volunteers responded to more than 600 families and helped them recover after a devastating fire.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at