As volunteers are installing alarms, they will also provide fire safety information and help residents draft home fire escape plans. The process takes about 10 minutes.
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“It’s not just about installing the alarms; it’s also about educating the family,” said Lynne Gump, executive director of the American Red Cross Northern Miami Valley Ohio Chapter.
About 20 volunteers will meet at the Mad River Township/Enon Fire & EMS Station at 8:30 a.m. to train and pick up their equipment before dispersing into the neighborhood. They will be distributing smoke alarms from about 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Gump encourages people to open their doors to volunteers this Saturday, no matter what. It could save their lives, she said.
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“We don’t care what your house looks like. We don’t care whether you are dressed and have your makeup on yet or anything like that. Let us in the door, let us have a conversation with you, and let us make your house a safer place.”
House fires remain the leading cause of disasters in America, Gump said. Of the roughly 62,000 disasters the Red Cross responds to every year, about 90 percent are house fires.
In the event of a fire, Gump said residents must evacuate their house in two minutes and resist any urges to go back inside the house. Knowing what to do and having a smoke alarm are crucial, Gump said.
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“Having a working smoke alarm in your home increases your chance of surviving a home fire by 50 percent,” Gump said. “We are trying to save lives one household at a time.”
Red Cross also installs free smoke alarms by appointment. To request a free smoke alarm installation, please call 937-399-3872.