The biggest disaster threat to families across our nation every day isn’t a flood or hurricane; it’s fire. Last year, the Darke County Chapter responded to numerous fires, caused by a variety of reasons. All across the country, local Red Cross volunteers respond to family fires in their communities, providing shelter, food, clothing and much more to start the families on their road to recovery
October is Fire Prevention Month. That’s why the American Red Cross is encouraging people to take steps to minimize the risk of home fires by remembering two key fire safety steps: install smoke alarms and develop a fire escape plan.
To encourage Darke County Families to plan & practice their home fire drills, Darke County Red Cross is challenging families to participate in an inaugural Family Fire Drill Challenge. It’s easy! Families simply notify the Red Cross by phone, email, FB or tweet that your family is planning to drill the evening of October 22nd from 5:30 pm to 6:30 p.m. Local volunteers will be waiting to “catch” families practicing their drills and awarding prizes generously donated by area businesses such as Versailles, Arcanum & ACE Hardware, Troutwine Auto Sales, Tony Roberts Insurance and local restaurants. Additionally, families are encouraged to share their photos on the Darke County American Red Cross Facebook page for even more prizes! “Everybody wins in this challenge,” states Chapter Chair Dan Franks, “but most of all the families in our community are better prepared.”
It is recommended that people check each smoke alarm in their home by pushing the test button at least once a month and replace batteries every year, or as needed. Fire escape plans should include at least two escape routes from every room in the home and a convenient meeting place at a safe distance from the home. Practice your escape plan at least twice a year and revise as necessary. Families are encouraged to pay particular attention to developing and regularly practicing escape plans for children and older adults.
"Fires can strike suddenly and spread quickly,” said Lynne Gump, Executive Director, “It’s important to take simple steps now, such as installing a smoke alarm inside bedrooms, outside sleeping areas and on every level of their homes. Create a plan of escape in case you and your family need to leave at a moment’s notice. During a fire, every second counts and being prepared can greatly reduce the effects of these devastating disasters.” Visit www.redcross.org/homefires for more tips. Don’t forget to send your photos via email, Lynne.Gump@Redcross.org, Facebook or Twitter or contact the Darke County Chapter at 937-548-1002.