By Eilene Guy, American Red Cross volunteer
MANSFIELD, Ohio – Two Mansfield residents owe their very lives to free smoke alarms from the American Red Cross.
The alarms – installed during the United Way of Richland County Day of Caring on Aug. 4, 2017 – did their job on Feb. 13 this year, when fire broke out in a mobile home and a mother and her daughter were able to escape safely.
“Having working smoke alarms is vital to the safety and security of the residents in a home,” said Lara Kiefer, executive director of the Lake Erie/Heartland Chapter of the Red Cross, which serves Richland and six other northcentral Ohio counties.
“Most people think they have up to 10 minutes to safely escape a home fire, but studies show it’s closer to two minutes,” she said. The vast majority of the disasters the Red Cross responds to are home fires and tragically, seven people die every day in this country from home fire-related injuries.
In 2014, the Red Cross launched the Home Fire Campaign, a nationwide initiative to reduce the number of fire related deaths by 25 percent. Since the start of the program, more than 460 lives have been saved, including 12 in the city of Lorain.
To learn more about the importance of having working smoke alarms on every level of your home, or to ask for a home fire safety inspection and smoke alarm installation, visit soundthealarm.org/neo.
Lake Erie/Heartland Chapter Executive Director Lara Kiefer and Executive Coordinator Christina Ennis with members of the Madison Township Fire Department
On Friday, August 3rd, Red Cross volunteers and other community partners, including Mechanics Bank, the Mansfield Police Department and the Madison Township Fire Department, joined volunteers from the United Way of Richland County in this year’s Day of Caring, installing smoke alarms and providing fire safety education to Mansfield residents.
“It’s gratifying to know that our partnership with the United Way of Richland County has had such a positive impact in our community,” Keifer said, referring to the lives saved in Mansfield earlier this year.
To learn more about the many volunteer opportunities within the Red Cross – from preventing and responding to disasters (such as home fires) to serving our armed forces to teaching first aid, babysitting or water safety skills – visit redcross.org/neo and click the volunteer tab.