Red Cross and Key Bank Volunteers Celebrate MLK Day

Fire is the biggest disaster threat to American families—not floods, hurricanes or tornadoes.

In honor of the upcoming Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, volunteers from the Washtenaw-Lenawee County Chapter in partnership with Key Bank will be going door-to-door, January 26-27 in the Washtenaw-Lenawee County area 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 Ashley Cielinski, Emergency Services Director, Washtenaw-Lenawee Chapter. “And home fires are one disaster that can usually be prevented when people understand how to protect their families. We thank Key Bank for their support in reaching out to 1000 homes in the area and look forward to working with them for many years to come.”

"KeyBank finds it important to help the families in our community to understand and develop safety procedures for their home in case of fire," states Kirk Albert, KeyBank's Michigan President. "Part of our mission is to help our communities thrive, and partnering with the American Red Cross to help safe lives through education and prevention is one way we can help." KeyBank's support for Washtenaw-Lenawee Red Cross's MLK Day Fire Prevention/Preparedness program was made possible through a grant from the KeyBank Foundation.

Volunteers will talk to residents who are available, 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. Locally, the Washtenaw-Lenawee County Chapter assisted over 120 families who were affected by fire last year.