It is National Volunteer Week and the American Red Cross is taking this time to recognize the thousands of volunteers who commit countless hours to serve their communities. As Sound the Alarm kicks off, beginning April 28th and lasting until May 13th, thousands of volunteers nationwide will gear up to protect their local communities from home fires. Among the thousands of volunteers will be Larry Singer, participating in his fifth year of assisting with the Home Fire Campaign.
Larry has been a Red Cross volunteer in the Ohio Buckeye Region for over four years now and has been instrumental in the planning and logistics of the Sound the Alarm portion of the Home Fire Campaign. Larry, along with other local volunteers and fire departments, has been able to install free smoke alarms, provide smoke alarm batteries, offer home fire safety education, and help families to create escape plans in cities around Ohio. Linden, Plain City, Delaware, and Clinton Township have been the specific areas in which Larry has been able to make most of an impact in the past four years.
“Savings lives - preventing tragedies – is simply one of the most rewarding accomplishments we can achieve,” said Larry via e-mail. “I don’t know if this has been proven, but the act of face-to-face contact and basic education about fire safety should make people more aware of fire hazards in the future. This could help to (prevent) home fires from starting.”
Since the Home Fire Campaign was launched in 2014, the Red Cross and partners have been able to install over one million smoke alarms and the number of documented saved lives is now up to 416. Just in the Ohio Buckeye Region alone volunteers have made nearly 15,000 home visits.
“I believe the campaign has made communities safer by reducing fire deaths and preventing fires from starting through education” said Larry.
Every day seven people die in a home fire. This is why the Home Fire Campaign’s three goals are to reduce home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent, increase the number of home fire responses by ten percent, and to improve assistance provided to home fire survivors. You can help the Red Cross to achieve these goals and Sound the Alarm in your own local community by volunteering, making a donation, or participating in a local fundraiser. In Ohio, you can volunteer to install smoke alarms in one of six cities, including: Newark, Westerville, Bascom, Toledo, Morgan County, or McCutchenville on May 5th.
You can also join the movement by taking steps to protect your own family from home fires. Come up with and practice a fire escape plan that takes two minutes or less and make sure to check home smoke alarms at least once a month.
Together we can Sound the Alarm about fire safety and help to save lives. Sign up to volunteer and to learn about other opportunities in your community on the Red Cross Ohio Buckeye Region Website.