by Rebecca Churchill
I was a Girl Scout when I was younger, and liked “being prepared” for things; even now, having the aptitude to take care of myself and my loved ones feels good. As for fire safety, I assumed I knew enough. Guess who just failed the Red Cross fire safety quiz with a 55%?
Test your fire alarms once a month. I know that, but do I do it? No. I didn’t know you needed to replace fire alarms every ten years, and I certainly don’t change the batteries every year, just when they chirp in the middle of the night and you have to knock the alarm off with a broom. It’s a bad kind of epiphany to realize that I’ve been too casual about something as important as the safety and security of my home and family.
So it’s a new year, and I’m going to jump onboard with the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign. And I started this past Martin Luther King weekend, 2017. Their mission is to get smoke alarms installed in as many homes as possible, and to remind people to take a few minutes to check their alarms and practice exit strategies to be prepared for a fire. I was shocked to find out when there are no smoke alarms in the house, the mortality rate is nearly 60% for house fires.
The National Capital Region Red Cross is looking for volunteers to help install fire alarms for those in need, and to get out the message about the importance of home precautions. Volunteering is so easy – there’s no training required – just join us and let’s help the Red Cross make an impact right here in the DMV. Here’s the link that can get you started, whether you want more info, the fire safety quiz, or to volunteer: http://www.redcross.org/local/washington-dc/volunteer/smoke-alarm-installations
Experts say you have as little as two minutes to get out of the house in case of a fire. Do you have a plan if it happens to you?