ST. PARIS – Over the weekend, volunteers from the Johnson St. Paris Fire District and the American Red Cross went door to door in the district to install smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, change batteries and talk about fire safety. The Red Cross wants to increase the use of smoke alarms and encourage everyone to practice fire drills to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires by 25 percent over the next five years.
The Red Cross asks everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: Check smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home.
If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Local building codes vary and may have additional requirements.
If someone has alarms, test them today. If they don’t work, replace them.
Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes. Practice that plan.
Don’t have an alarm?
Anyone who needs a smoke detector can call the Red Cross office at 937-399-3872 and a volunteer will set up an appointment to visit the house and install the alarms needed.
A new national survey shows many Americans have a false sense of security about surviving a fire. The survey, conducted for the Red Cross, shows that people believe they have more time than they really do to escape a burning home.
Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home. Most Americans (62 percent) mistakenly believe they have at least five minutes to escape. Nearly one in five (18 percent) believe they have 10 minutes or more.
When asked about their confidence to escape a burning home, roughly four in 10 of those polled (42 percent) believed they could get out in two minutes.
While 69 percent of parents believe their children would know what to do or how to escape with little help, the survey found that many families had not taken necessary steps to support that level of confidence.
Fewer than one in five families with children age 3-17 (18 percent) report that they’ve practiced home fire drills.
Less than half of parents (48 percent) have talked to their families about fire safety.
Only one-third of families with children (30 percent) have identified a safe place to meet outside their home.
Anyone who would like to join with the American Red Cross and their work in the community can register online at www.redcross.org/nmvo or call the office at 937-399-3872.