Great Falls, MT July 9, 2015 – The American Red Cross and Smith’s Food and Drug Stores are teaming up to reduce deaths and injuries due to home fires in Montana and the 6 other states that Smiths serves.
Thursday, July 16 from 9 a.m.-noon, Smith’s employees will join Red Cross volunteers educate residents about fire safety. They will share important information with Smith’s customers, including how to prevent fires, the importance of smoke alarms, and how to make a family escape plan.
“Home fires are the most common disaster to which the Red Cross responds to – in fact, nearly 70,000 times a year. Here in Utah it is every two to three days on average.” said Diane Wright, executive director of Montana Red Cross. She adds, “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 Prevention Campaign by the Red Cross. The Red Cross campaign focuses on convening 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%.”
Montana 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 that they (and you!) practice the family escape plan so they know how to 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.
To find out more about the Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Plan, please go to redcross.org/montana.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit http://www.redcross.org/montana or visit us on Twitter at @MontanaRedCross
Smith’s is a division of the Kroger Co. (NYSE:KR), one of the nation’s largest retail grocers. From its headquarters in Salt Lake City, Smith’s manages 139 stores and 82 fuel centers throughout seven western states. In 2014, with support from associates, customers and suppliers, Smith’s Food & Drug donated a total of $11 million worth of product and cash to local nonprofit organizations. To learn more visit: www.smithsfoodanddrug.com.