American Red Cross volunteers and Riverton Volunteer Firefighters canvassed the southwest Iowa town of Riverton, on Saturday, January 24, as part of the Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.
Volunteers visited 93 homes in Riverton and installed 111 new smoke alarms. They also replaced 18 batteries. In the 53 homes where volunteers were invited inside, they found only 59 working smoke alarms! Red Cross volunteers also shared vital fire safety information and showed families how to develop escape plans. The Red Cross would like to thank the Iowa State Fire Marshal’s office for providing the smoke alarms for this potentially life-saving project.
Riverton resident Kathy Buttry, who has eight children, said she was so grateful to the firefighters and Red Cross volunteers who visited her family’s home. "I'm speechless, that's how happy I am," she said. "It was great to talk about our disaster plan. With so many kids, it never hurts to go over it again."
The smoke alarm installation event follows the tragic death of a Riverton man in a home fire on November 25, 2014. Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire. The Red Cross campaign focuses on joining fire departments and community groups together to install smoke alarms in communities and encouraging everyone to practice their fire escape plans.
For more than two years, the Red Cross in Iowa has worked closely with the State Fire Marshal’s Office, local fire departments and community groups, and with the help of more than 850 volunteers, has successfully installed more than 3,300 smoke alarms in Centerville, Lake City, Ottumwa, Des Moines, Newton, Arlington, Nevada and Dubuque.