In May, the Flint River Chapter of the American Red Cross partnered with Sylvester organizations to educate local citizens and install smoke detectors in the community. The Sylvester Fire Department, Men United, Worth County Fire and Rescue, and the Sylvester Police Department all came together to canvas local mobile home parks and install over 70 smoke detectors.
The campaign seeks to educate and increase the use of smoke detectors. This is a simple two step process that can save lives: check or install smoke detectors, and practice fire drills in the home.
Most people mistakenly think they will wake in the event of a fire. That simply is not true; you will not smell the smoke and the gases released from the fire will put you into a deeper sleep. Ms. Nature Malone with the Red Cross used the Albany smoke detector drive as an example. Smoke detectors were installed by the Red Cross and a local Boy Scout Troop over one weekend. Just days later, the detector woke her when her kitchen stove caught fire.
On average in the United States, seven people die in a house fire every day. Another 36 people are injured as a result of house fires every day, and over seven billion dollars are lost in property damage every year.
Working smoke detectors reduce the risk of dying in a house fire by 50 percent. At a minimum, install at least one smoke detector on each level of your home and one outside your sleeping areas. Check your detectors at least monthly. A non-working smoke detector is of no use what so ever.
Practice Fire Drills in the home. Fire experts agree, you have as little as two minutes to escape a burning house. Time is critical and a fire doubles in intensity every minute. Get out and stay out before it is too late. Have a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year. Have a safe place to meet. It is critical that everyone is accounted for. Educate your children, fire drills and escaping does not come natural. If you do not train them, they will not know what to do.
Your home may also be full of fire hazards. The Red Cross has a Home Fire safety Checklist which covers: Cooking safety, smoking safety, Matches and lighters, Space heaters and fire places, electrical and appliance safety and smoke alarms.
Remember, a smoke detector with a dead or removed battery is useless.
Thanks to the Flint River Red Cross, Ms. Nature Malone, Men United and the emergency response agencies that participated to reach numerous residence and install over seventy two smoke detectors in Sylvester.