Fires cause more deaths than any other type of disaster but they don’t have to be deadly.
The Muskingum Valley Chapter of the Red Cross encourages everyone to take simple steps to be sure they are fire ready.
"Smoke detectors I think are number one,” explained Community Disaster Educator, Martha Staley. “Have them installed, especially near the sleeping areas and test them, make sure the batteries are working, and test them also so the family can hear what they really sound like so they will be aware."
You should also have a plan in place for yourself, family or housemates. A plan includes what will you do if there is a fire, finding at least two escape routes per room and picking a place for everyone to meet after escaping the blaze. Prevention is also a key measurement to fire safety.
"Obvious things like your plugs, no frayed wires, your space heaters – keep them three feet away from anything, don’t use them around blankets and small children playing around them. Don’t overload your circuits and if one keeps blowing, figure out why it is blowing."
Even with precautions, fires can still happen. If you are a victim of a fire, The Red Cross will provide immediate needs to help in the days following the blaze.
"We address those food, clothing and shelter, and we try to be there within one to two hours” said Staley. “After we get the call from that fire department or dispatcher, we have to be asked, and if the fire department says, ‘Would you like the red cross?’ of course we are there for anybody, whether you have insurance, or you don’t, doesn’t make any difference to us."
The Disaster Action Team will respond at any time of day. If you wish to become one of those volunteer members, visit http://tinyurl.com/RedCrossJoin.