Red Cross volunteers routinely canvass neighborhoods in communities all over the country. In north Fargo, what began with one mobile home asking for new smoke alarms, resulted in an entire mobile home community getting prepared for home fires.
Volunteer Jeff Klonowski went to visit a friend in mobile home in the Riviera Heights mobile home community to replace smoke alarms in the home. A neighbor saw Jeff there and asked for her home to be checked as well and the word got out.
“People saw us out there and just kept asking if we could help them out with smoke alarms so we kept going,” Klonowski said. “We just decided we might as well do them all because we found so many homes were not up to code.”
Volunteers with the Red Cross and North Dakota State University ended up canvassing all 135 homes in the park, with 75 smoke alarms installed as a result. The entire event was spearheaded and executed by volunteers.
“We respond to quite a few mobile home fires so it is important that these neighborhoods are protected in case a fire occurs,” Klonowski added. “We found that that preparing families can be contagious.”
There have been 69 documented lives saved in the United States as a result of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign. Canvassing events will continue in numerous communities throughout the Dakotas and beyond this year.