American Red Cross urges families to prepare for home fires during Fire Prevention and Public Safety Month

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Press release from the American Red Cross:

American Red Cross urges families to prepare for home fires during Fire Prevention and Public Safety Month
Offers free presentations, demonstrations with FWFD

The American Red Cross is urging families to talk with their children about fire safety during the month of October. Children playing with fire cause about 300 deaths and $280 million in property damage each year nationwide according to the U.S. Fire Administration. And children under the age of five are twice as likely to die in a home fire than the rest of the U.S. population.

“Unlike natural disasters, home fires can often be prevented,” states Katherine MacAulay, Director of Preparedness & Response for the American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana. “We want families to have the information and resources they need to educate their children and prevent a home fire tragedy.”

The American Red Cross recommends that adults:

  • Keep matches, lighters and other ignitable substances in a secured location out of the reach of children.
  • Develop and practice your home fire escape plan with your children several times a year.
  • Familiarize children with the sound of your smoke alarm and what to do when they hear it.
  • Teach your children to tell you or a responsible adult when they find matches or lighters at home or school.
  • Check under beds and in closets for burnt matches, evidence your child may be playing with fire.
  • Install a smoke alarm in every sleeping area of your home. Having a working smoke alarm reduces the risk of dying in a home fire by nearly half.

On the evenings of October 5-8, the American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana will offer free fire safety presentations as part of National Fire Prevention Week. From 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. each night, the Fort Wayne Fire Department will host an informal “show and tell” with children around one of the department’s fire trucks, giving them a chance to explore the truck and its equipment first hand and to see a firefighter dressed in full attire. Then, from 7:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. each night, the Red Cross will present an interactive Masters of Disaster lesson on fire safety and preparedness targeted towards children aged 5-7 and 8-12. Masters of Disaster preparedness kits and other preparedness products will be available for sale. The Red Cross is located at 1212 E. California Rd. in Fort Wayne.

The American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana has assisted 179 families after home fires in the last year at a cost of $70,600, or about $395 per family. The Red Cross depends on the generous support of Northeast Indiana residents to respond to our neighbors’ immediate needs who are affected by home fires. You can help the Red Cross be ready to respond and help fire victims by making a financial contribution today. To make a financial donation, please visit, call Jeri Rusk at (260) 484.9336 ext. 230 or visit the American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana at 1212 E. California Rd. in Fort Wayne. For more information on fire safety and preparedness information and community presentations, please contact Brian Austin at (260) 484.9336 ext. 234.

About the American Red Cross
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. The American Red Cross of Northeast Indiana serves nine counties: Allen, DeKalb, Miami, Noble, Steuben, Wabash, Wells and Whitley Counties in Indiana and Williams County in Ohio. For more information, call (260) 484-9336 or 1-800-513-2599, or visit on-line.

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