TOPEKA (KSNT) – The American Red Cross is asking for volunteers for a Home Fire Preparedness Project on Saturday, July 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The Red Cross will work with the City of Topeka and volunteers to install smoke alarms and help families create a home fire escape plan.
Registration for the event will be held at the Garfield Community Center located at 1600 N.E. Quincy Street at 9:30 a.m.
“Volunteers will work one-on-one with families to create home fire escape plans ensuring everyone knows what to do if a fire happens in the house,” said Jane Blocher, Executive Director of the American Red Cross of Capital Area Kansas.
Individuals who are willing to give a few hours of their time can fill one of the following roles:
- Smoke Alarm Installer – Conduct home visits, test existing smoke alarms in homes, replace batteries as needed, and install smoke alarms within the home.
- Disaster Safety Educator – Provide education to residents on fire safety and additional local hazards, and assist residents in completing a home fire escape plan.
- Documenter/Reporter – Document resident information, including the services provided. Complete all acknowledgement forms and reports for campaign tracking.
People who are interested in volunteering can do so by calling (785)-354-9230.
The Red Cross has also launched a nationwide campaign that they say could reduce the number of house fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent over the next five years.
“House fires can be a deadly threat because they happen so quickly,” said Blocher.
The Red Cross advises everyone to make a plan for escape in case a house fire did occur. Blocher says that most times you will only have two minutes to escape when a fire starts, but most people believe they have more than twice as long to get out of the house.
In addition to having an escape plan, there are some other steps that you can take now:
- Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area, placing them on the ceiling or high on the wall.
- Put a smoke alarm inside every bedroom.
- Test the smoke alarms regularly. Install new batteries every year.
- Get new smoke alarms every ten years.
- Keep items that can catch on fire at least three feet away from anything that gets hot, such as sources of heat or stoves.
- Never smoke in bed.
- Turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to sleep.
These are just a few tips on how to prepare yourself to be as prepared as possible in case a fire does occur. For more information on fire safety you can visit www.redcross.org.