It wouldn't hurt to have some extra safety around the house, especially when it comes to home fire safety.
On Jan. 15, the American Red Cross will be offering free smoke alarms that will be installed between 1 to 4 p.m., as part of their Home Fire Campaign.
The free installation is part of a partnership with American Red Cross and Ford County RSVP, the local volunteer organization.
To schedule an installation, contact Ford County RSVP director Debbie Allen at 620-227-7077.
"The American Red Cross began the Home Fire Campaign in 2014 as an initiative to reduce the number of home fires, make homes safer and save lives," American Red Cross central and western Kansas executive director Becky LaPolice said. "Nationally we have installed over one million smoke alarms and saved over 285 lives.
"In the 60 counties of central and western Kanas, we have conducted Home Fire Campaigns in several communities of Saline, Ellis, Rooks, Marion, Chase, Pratt, Finney, Gray and now Ford counties."
Some additional steps homeowners and renters can take for extra fire safety according to LaPolice are: installing smoke alarms on every level of the home and outside each sleeping area with them placed on the ceiling or high wall; put a smoke alarm in every bedroom; test the smoke alarms regularly and install new batteries every year; get new smoke alarms every 10 years; keep items that can catch on fire at least 3 feet away from anything that gets hots, such as source of heat or stove; never smoke in your bed and turn portable heaters off when leaving the room or going to sleep.
Another key addition to home fire safety would be installing a carbon monoxide detector along with the smoke alarms.
"The smoke alarms provided by the American Red Cross are free and have a 10-year lithium battery," LaPolice said. "At this time we do not provide carbon monoxide detectors but encourage families to include them in their home safety preparedness.
"With each smoke alarm installation, the Red Cross provides fire prevention and safety educational materials that includes tips regarding the hazards of carbon monoxide."
With last year's wildfires and the recent ones that hit California, fire safety outside of the home is also a necessity.
"The American Red Cross offers important preparedness, prevention and safety information at redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/types-of-emergencies," said LaPolice. "In addition, Red Cross mobile apps are available for download from the Apple App or Google Play store redcross.org/get-help/how-to-prepare-for-emergencies/mobile-apps."
There is also assistance available for those who purchase their own smoke alarms and need help with proper installation.
"The American Red Cross partners with fire departments in both home fire preparedness and response," LaPolice said. "While the fire department is always a good source of information, our partners at Ford County RSVP will continue to provide smoke alarms after our day of service on Jan. 15.
"Debbie Allen, Director of RSVP can be reached at 620-227-7077 to schedule a home installation."
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