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Red Cross To Canvass South Norwalk For Fire Safety Campaign On Saturday

The American Red Cross will be visiting South Norwalk to help residents learn how to be prepared in case of home fires. Above, Fire Inspector Kurt McDonald hands fire safety information to a resident after fatal fire on Ely Avenue last month.
The American Red Cross will be visiting South Norwalk to help residents learn how to be prepared in case of home fires. Above, Fire Inspector Kurt McDonald hands fire safety information to a resident after fatal fire on Ely Avenue last month. Photo Credit: Casey Donahue, File

NORWALK, Conn. – The American Red Cross Connecticut Chapter will be visiting the South Norwalk neighborhood as part of its Home Fire Preparedness Campaign to teach people how to be prepared for home fires and to install smoke alarms where needed.

The Home Fire Preparedness Campaign brings Red Cross workers together with local fire departments and community groups to visit neighborhoods at high risk for fires.

Those visits include educating people about fire safety through one-on-one conversations and free installation of smoke alarms in homes where no working smoke alarms are present.

“The presence of working smoke alarms in a home cuts the risk of someone dying from a home fire in half,” said Stacey Hafen, senior director of Emergency Preparedness with the Connecticut Chapter.

The Red Cross will be in South Norwalk on Saturday, April 11, between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m., visiting residents to share fire safety and preparedness information and to install smoke alarms in homes where no such alarms are present.

Joining the Red Cross will be the City of Norwalk Fire and Emergency Management Departments, the Public Safety Cadets, the Calgary Baptist Church and other local organizations.

“We are grateful to the City and to other organizations helping us spread this important message,” Hafen said. “We share a common interest in protecting residents and building a stronger, more resilient community."

After an elderly woman died in a fire last month, members of the Norwalk Fire Department returned to the Ely Avenue neighborhood to knock on doors and spread information about fire safety to area residents.

"After every fatal fire we like to case the neighborhood around where it happened," said Fire Inspector Luca Feola. They spoke to residents, handing out fliers in English and Spanish about fire safety plans, and made sure that each house had a working fire detector. (Read more about those efforts here at the Daily Voice.)

The Red Cross is asking everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home.

There are several things families and individuals can do to increase their chances of surviving a fire:

  • If you do not have smoke alarms in your home, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Local building codes vary and there may be additional requirements in your community.
  • If you do have smoke alarms, test them today. If they don’t work, replace them.
  • Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.
  • Practice that plan. What’s the household’s escape time?

If you want to make a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief, visit redcross.org or call 1-800-RED-CROSS.

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