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Red Cross Launching Major Initiative to Reduce Fire Deaths

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On Sat., October 11, Red Cross volunteers will be going door-to-door to homes in the 37040 zip code.

Volunteers to Focus on Clarksville Neighborhood Identified as Deadliest in State

American Red Cross volunteers from the Two Rivers Chapter are joining thousands of other volunteers across the country this weekend to kick-off a new effort to drastically reduce the number of people killed in house fires.

Home fires are the greatest disaster threat to American families.

Seven times a day, someone dies in a home fire. Every 40 minutes, an injury from a fire is reported.

The Red Cross is taking several steps over the next five years to reduce fire deaths by 25% nationwide.

There are three cornerstones to the strategy:
-    Door-to-door installation of smoke alarms and completion of home-safety checklists and plans in vulnerable neighborhoods,
-    Engagement of youth in classrooms and after school with technology, challenges, and science-based education,
-    A marketing and public relations campaign to motivate ordinary people to take action to save themselves, their families and their neighbors by checking smoke alarms and practicing evacuating when the alarm goes off.

The implementation of the first part of this strategy begins this weekend in Clarksville – identified as the most deadly place in the state when it comes to home fires.

On Saturday, October 11th, Red Cross volunteers will be going door-to-door to homes in the 37040 zip code. Last year, there were 53 homes fires in this zip code alone. Those fires accounted for more than 61 deaths or injuries – more than any other community in Tennessee.

“More than 40% of the time, fires that cause injury or death in Clarksville are in homes where there isn’t a working smoke alarm,” said Two Rivers Disaster Program Manager Larry Crowell. “These devices truly save lives, and our volunteers are committed to getting them into as many homes as possible.”

Volunteers will conduct a home fire safety checklist with residents, and if needed, will be installing smoke alarms. The service is free.

Volunteers will be canvassing from College St. south to 41A bypass and Riverside Dr. to the Mason Rudolph Country Club area.

If you want to ensure a Red Cross volunteer comes by your home Saturday, you can pre-register by calling (931) 645-6401.

The service isn’t just for residents in these neighborhoods or the 37040 zip code. Anyone who needs a smoke alarm can call the Red Cross for information on how to receive a free smoke alarm.

The Red Cross is also looking for people to help with its canvassing effort.  We are currently working with the Montgomery County EMA and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you or your organization would like to volunteer, please call (931) 645-6401.

Volunteers will be meeting Saturday morning at 9am at the Red Cross office at 1760 Madison Street.