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Local American Red Cross volunteers responded to 39 single family fires and one apartment fire in the month of November.
A team of Red Cross volunteers helped coordinate assistance in the form of food, shelter, and emotional support due to fire damage to their homes.
Last year, the Greater Ozarks Region responded to 489 residential fires.
“We’re deeply saddened for those affected by each and every fire that we respond to,” said Chris Harmon, chief Emergency Services Officer. “As we continue to provide support to those affected, we also encourage others to take action to minimize the risk of a home fire.”
The Red Cross recommends two easy steps to help protect your home and loved ones from a fire: get a smoke alarm and create a fire escape plan.
• Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half according to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA).
• Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including bedrooms.
• Test smoke alarms once a month and replace batteries at least once a year.
• Have a plan in place can help you escape, including at least two ways to escape from every room of your home and a meeting spot at a safe distance from your home.
• Discuss the plan with everyone in the household and practice it at least twice a year.
Red Cross volunteers on the scene were members of the chapter’s Disaster Action Team, a group of specially trained volunteers who respond to the scene of a local disaster when called upon at any time of the day or night.
For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information visit www.redcross.org/homefires or www.redcross-ozarks.org.
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization – not a government agency – and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org.