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Red Cross Announces New "Fire Safe Fridays" Initiative

Philadelphia — Beginning January 11, 2013, American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania will partner with Red Paw Emergency Relief for “Fire Safe Fridays.”

Fire Safe Fridays is a new initiative to bring vital fire safety and pet fire safety materials to residents throughout the five-county region served by the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania (SEPA). Fire Safe Friday fire safety walkthroughs will be conducted every Friday at 2pm. They will be conducted in addition to the fire safety walkthroughs SEPA and local fire departments already conduct following each fatal fire.

During fire safety walkthroughs, Red Cross and Red Paw volunteers will distribute 200 fire safety kits, which include tips for preventing fires in both English and Spanish and a 9-volt battery for smoke alarms. Missing smoke detectors or smoke detectors without a working battery are the leading cause of fire deaths. Providing fire safety tips and batteries are just two of many ways the Red Cross works year round to reduce fires and fire deaths in our community. A working smoke detector is a homeowner’s most important defense against fire injury or death. The Red Cross is committed to helping homeowners take this critical safety measure.

“We respond to two to three fires every day in Southeastern Pennsylvania,” Judge Renée Cardwell Hughes, CEO of the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania said. “The best thing you can do to protect your loved ones is to install a smoke alarm and develop and practice a fire escape plan. Fires can spread very quickly, so everyone at home, school and work should know what to do when they hear the sound of a smoke alarm,” Hughes said.

"Red Paw is very excited to be partnering with the American Red Cross for Fire Safe Fridays,” Jen Leary, Founder, Red Paw Emergency Relief Team said. “Since Red Paw started a year and a half ago, we've responded 3-4 times a week to assist displaced pets from fires, with 90% of our calls coming from the Red Cross. We are thrilled the Red Cross understands how important pets are to families, as much as Red Paw does and we are looking forward to spreading the word about Pet Preparedness and Pet Fire Safety to the communities we respond in everyday!"

A Fire Safety Walkthrough will be conducted each Friday (weather permitting) at a different location. Each week the location of the walkthrough will rotate in an effort to disseminate the information equally across all five counties and provide a variety of volunteers with an opportunity to serve. Fire Safe Fridays kicks off January 11th at 2pm at the one-of-a-kind Red Cross House, The Center for Disaster Recovery located at 40th and Powelton Streets in University City. (See below for a list of upcoming Fire Safe Friday walkthrough locations.) Red Cross House is celebrating its 10th Anniversary this year and serves as a home for families displaced by disasters in our region.

Local businesses looking for service projects are invited to join the walkthrough team each Friday or, with the help of the Red Cross, they can initiate one of their own. The Red Cross looks forward to accommodating group volunteer efforts and would like these walkthroughs be an integral part of our service plan for volunteers-both corporate and community.

Upcoming locations for Fire Safe Friday’s neighborhood walkthroughs (all will begin at 2pm):

• Friday, January 11 – 40th & Powelton Streets, Philadelphia

• Friday, January 18 – Willow Grove, Montgomery County near Woodland and Easton Roads

• Friday, January 25 – Darby, Delaware County, near MacDade Blvd and Main Street

• Friday, February 1 – Coatesville, Chester County near Lincoln Highway and Strode Avenue

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About the American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania:

The American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors. The Red Cross is not a government agency. All Red Cross assistance is free of charge. Financial contributions are always welcomed and needed and can be made by going to RedCrossPhilly.org.

About Red Paw Emergency Relief Team:

Red Paw Emergency Relief Team is a non-profit organization that responds 24/7 in Philadelphia and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Region providing emergency transport, veterinary care and shelter to animals displaced by fires and other disasters. More info at RedPawEmergencyReliefTeam.org.