Free smoke alarms distributed locally by the Red Cross have helped save lives, with 1,000 of the devices given away last year and a goal of 5,000 over the next 12 months.
Judith Schnatz, a Crossroads Division nurse leader with the American Red Cross out of Cincinnati, told Hillsboro Rotarians this week that home smoke detectors result in a dramatic decrease in fire-related deaths.
Schnatz told Rotarians about the various services provided each year by Red Cross. She said she recently went to Brown County to help families after flooding displaced residents and resulted in three deaths.
She said it was important for families to have escape plans from their homes in case of disasters such as fires or floods.
“Have a plan,” she said. “Have an escape or survival plan,” including stocking up on food and bottled water.
Schnatz was accompanied by LeeAnn Pickens, Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) leader for Highland and Clinton counties.
According to a press release from the Red Cross, the organization and its partners have “saved 15 lives and installed more than 100,000 smoke alarms in homes across the country during the last ten months.”
The Red Cross said the drive is part of “a nationwide Home Fire Campaign launched last October to reduce the number of people who die or are injured during a fire in their home.”
“Those 100,000 smoke alarms will be out there protecting families every day for years to come, thanks to the dedication of local volunteers and partners going door-to-door to spread preparedness information in their communities,” said Russ Paulsen, the executive director, community preparedness and resilience services for the Red Cross. “We can count 15 of our neighbors who are still with us today and we know there will be more lives saved. This success lays the groundwork to more than double our efforts next year.”
Since the Home Fire Campaign began, “the Red Cross and its partners have installed smoke alarms in almost 2,000 cities and towns in all 50 states. The campaign has already helped save 15 lives in five states ranging from a 3-year-old child to a 73-year-old grandmother,” according to the press release.
Those interested in learning more about free smoke alarm installation can call 513-579-3000 and make an appointment for alarm installation.
Reach Gary Abernathy at 937-393-3456 or on Twitter @abernathygary.