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Red Cross and Smiths Team Up to Save Lives

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Home fires are the most common disaster to which the Red Cross responds

The American Red Cross and Smith’s Food and Drug Stores are teaming up to reduce deaths and injuries due to home fires in Wyoming and the 6 other states that Smiths serves.  

Thursday, July 16, from 9 a.m.-noon, Smith’s employees will join Red Cross volunteers to canvass a mobile home park in Riverton door-to-door to install smoke alarms and educate residents about fire safety. Workers will be equipped with drills, smoke alarms, batteries and information on how to prevent fires and how to make a family escape plan. 

In addition to the door-to-door outreach, employees at Smith’s Food and Drug Stores throughout Wyoming will set up informational tables to educate customers about home fire safety. 

“Home fires are the most common disaster to which the Red Cross responds – in fact, nearly 70,000 times a year,” said Spencer Pollack, Executive Director of the Red Cross of Wyoming. “Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire and through collaboration with great partners like Smith’s we seek to lower that number.”

The effort to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent is part of an ongoing five-year Home Fire Campaign by the Red Cross. The Red Cross campaign focuses on joining fire departments and community groups nationwide to install smoke alarms in communities with high numbers of fires and encouraging everyone to practice their fire escape plans.

“Smith’s associates volunteer in their communities throughout the year, but on this one day we really want to make a difference by focusing on one issue throughout more than 100 store communities in seven states,” said Marsha Gilford, Smith’s Vice President Public Affairs. “We admire the American Red Cross and truly hope we will help fulfill their goal to reduce home fires nationally by 25%.”

Utah residents are encouraged to take these two steps to safeguard their own families:

1. Ensure you have working smoke alarms – install at least one smoke alarm on each level of your home, especially outside bedrooms. If you have smoke alarms, test them regularly to ensure they work and replace the batteries twice annually.  

2. Have and practice a home escape plan – make sure every member of your household knows two routes out of your home and where to meet up once you are out of the home. Make sure they know they have less than 2 minutes to escape safely, and practice your plan so you can escape in that little time.

The one-day push is part of a broader, multi-state partnership between the American Red Cross and Smith’s Food and Drug parent company, Kroger, in support of the Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.  It is being seen as a template and model for other companies and organizations seeking volunteer engagement projects.