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Red Cross and Plainview Partners to Install Smoke Alarms

Last year, our local Red Cross volunteers responded to 67 home fires in southeast Minnesota.

American Red Cross serving Southeast Minnesota volunteers are teaming up with the Plainview Fire Department and other community partners as part of the Red Cross national Home Fire Preparedness Campaign that teaches people how to prepare for home fires and install smoke alarms where needed.

“Last year, our local Red Cross volunteers responded to 67 home fires in southeast Minnesota. Installing smoke alarms cuts the risk of someone dying from a home fire in half, so we’re joining with groups from across our community to install smoke alarms,” said Melanie Tschida, Executive Director for the American Red Cross serving Southeast Minnesota. “We also will be teaching people how to be safe from home fire.”

Event Dates and Times 

Red Cross volunteers, the Plainview Fire Department and other community partners will be canvassing a pre-designated area in Plainview on Saturday, September 12, from 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. letting residents know about the program. Volunteers will return Saturday, September 19, from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. to install alarms and teach people about what to do now in case a fire breaks out in their home.

Event Volunteers Needed

The Red Cross is looking for volunteers, specifically Spanish-speaking volunteers, for both events. To volunteer or for more information, please contact Shar Yorde, Red Cross Disaster Action Team lead during the day at (651) 448-1139 or in the evenings at (651)-345-4801.

For more information about the Plainview event, please contact:

Dianne Thompson, Disaster Program Specialist, American Red Cross - 507-884-7410

Shar Yorde. Disaster Action Team, American Red Cross - 651-345-4801 (evenings) or 651-448-1139

Jason Bade, Plainview Fire Dept - 507-951-3799

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 is happening all over the country and involves Red Cross workers joining with local fire departments and community groups to visit neighborhoods at high risk for fires. Those visits include educating people about fire safety through door-to-door visits and installation of smoke alarms in some of these neighborhoods.

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.

Several additional steps people can take to increase their chances of surviving a fire:

If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, 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 where someone lives.

If someone does have 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?

About Red Cross Fire Disaster Response

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 Minnesota, the Red Cross responds to more than 600 home fires every year. 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. Donations may also be sent to American Red Cross serving Southeast Minnesota, 310 14th St. S.E., Rochester, MN 55904.