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Red Cross Fire Safety Canvass Set for South Norwalk April 11

Working smoke alarms in a home cuts the risk of someone dying from a home fire in half.

NORWALK, CONN., April 6, 2015 – The American Red Cross Connecticut Chapter will be visiting the South Norwalk neighborhood as part of its Home Fire Preparedness Campaign to teach people how to be prepared for home fires and install smoke alarms where needed.

Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a home fire. Countless others suffer injuries. To combat these tragic statistics, the Red Cross has launched a nationwide campaign to reduce the number of deaths and injuries due to home fires by 25 percent over the next five years.

The Home Fire Preparedness Campaign brings Red Cross workers together with local fire departments and community groups to visit neighborhoods at high risk for fires. Those visits include educating people about fire safety through one-on-one conversations and free installation of smoke alarms in homes where no working smoke alarms are present.

“The presence of working smoke alarms in a home cuts the risk of someone dying from a home fire in half,” said Stacey Hafen, Senior Director of Emergency Preparedness with the Connecticut Chapter.

The Red Cross will be in South Norwalk on Saturday, April 11, between 11:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., visiting residents to share fire safety and preparedness information and to install smoke alarms in homes where no such alarms are present. Canvassers will help families understand the importance of fire safety and help them develop personalized family escape plans to use in the event a fire breaks out in their home.

Joining the Red Cross will be the City of Norwalk Fire and Emergency Management Departments, the Public Safety Cadets, the Calgary Baptist Church and other local organizations. “We are grateful to the City and to other organizations helping us spread this important message,” Hafen said. “We share a common interest in protecting residents and building a stronger, more resilient community.”

Hafen said that early detection of fire and an escape plan are vital to safely surviving a home fire. “Fire experts agree that you could have as little as two minutes to escape a home in the event of a fire. Smoke alarms can notify you of fire and an escape plan can reduce panic and time spent getting out of your home.” Hafen added that canvassers will share information and tools to help families develop a personalized escape plan.

Simple Steps to Save Lives

The Red Cross is asking everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home.

There are several things families and individuals can do to increase their chances of surviving a fire:

If you do not have smoke alarms in your home, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Local building codes vary and there may be additional requirements in your community.

If you do have smoke alarms, test them today. If they don’t work, replace them.

Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.

Practice that plan. What’s the household’s escape time?

The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year in the United States and the vast majority of those are home fires. In Connecticut, the Red Cross responded to 797 disasters last year. Nearly all of those responses were residential fires. You can help people affected by disasters like home fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.