The American Red Cross needs your help! On Saturday, Feb. 23, volunteers will be visiting neighborhood homes near the University of Findlay as part of the nationwide American Red Cross’ Sound the Alarm program. The effort, intended to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires, will provide free smoke alarms and installation, replace batteries in existing alarms, and help families create escape plans.
The Red Cross North Central Ohio Chapter and the University of Findlay’s American Society of Safety Professionals Club are organizing the canvass, which will take place from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. in an area bordered by Trenton Avenue on the north, Broad Avenue on the west, North Cory Street on the east, and Defiance Avenue on the south.
Local Red Cross Executive Director Todd James said 800 homes will be visited, which will require at least 40 volunteers. “We’ll provide training the morning of the event for the volunteers who will serve as installers, safety educators and documents,” he said. Those who wish to volunteer can call the Hancock County Red Cross office at 419-422-9322 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If residents aren’t home when Red Cross volunteers stop by, the volunteers will leave information with a toll-free number to request that a home visit take place at another time.
“Home fires are the biggest disaster threat our community faces, killing seven people in this country every day,” James explained. “In our chapter, we responded to 150 fires last year and lost over a dozen lives in home fires. Please help us Sound the Alarm by volunteering to install smoke alarms in your community, making a financial contribution, or taking steps to protect your own family from home fires.”
Nationwide, the Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters a year, the majority of which are home fires. Working smoke alarms in a home cut the risk of death by half, and having an escape plan further improves the odds of survival.
Supporters of the North Central Ohio Chapter Sound the Alarm program include Marathon Petroleum Corporation, Ohio Logistics and State Farm Insurance.