|SPRINGFIELD -- As the country marked National Fire Prevention Week during Oct 3 to 9, the American Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter urged everyone to help save lives by making sure their home is protected by smoke alarms.|
Not all disasters lead the evening news or make front-page headlines. Indeed, the vast majority of disasters involving the American Red Cross do not.
These home fires or "quiet disasters" are more deadly than all natural disasters combined killing about 4,000 Americans annually. Thousands more people survive such blazes, but are injured, homeless or mourning the death of loved ones.
"It is imperative that local residents take the time to ensure their homes are properly protected by smoke alarms," said Paige Thayer, Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter deputy director of chapter support. "Smoke alarms provide a few minutes of advance warning in the event of a home fire, and that extra time can save lives."
People who do not have smoke alarms in their home should have them installed and those with smoke alarms should make sure they have been properly maintained and updated.
Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of the home, as well as inside bedrooms, and outside sleeping areas of the home. People should test their smoke alarms once a month by pushing the test button and replace alarm batteries at least once a year. Other smoke alarm safety recommendations include:
The Red Cross reminds people of the following fire safety tips they should take:
More information on home fire safety is available on www.redcrosscwm.org. People can help those affected by home fires and other emergencies by making a financial donation to the Red Cross Pioneer Valley Chapter by calling 413-233-1003 or visiting www.redcrosscwm.org.
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