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Volunteers to share free fire safety resources with Lafayette Residents

Photo Courtesy of The American Red Cross

Lafayette is among over 50 at-risk cities in this spring’s national Sound the Alarm effort

Posted: May 5, 2021 11:25 AM

LAFAYETTE — The American Red Cross of Louisiana responded to an average of four home fires a day between July 1, 2019 and June 30, 2020. During the month of February 2021, that average shot up to nearly 11 home fires a day, making it the most frequent disaster the Red Cross responds to.

Over the last month, Red Cross and community volunteers have made more than 800 homes safer across Louisiana through virtual and socially distanced in-person presentations. These presentations provided residents with guidance on how to create a home fire escape plan, the importance of practicing a two-minute drill, common home fire causes and hazards and the necessity behind having working smoke alarms.

This Saturday, May 8, Red Cross volunteers and the Lafayette Fire Department will Sound the Alarm in Lafayette as a continuation of this effort and as part of a national push to educate 100,000 people about home fire safety in high-risk neighborhoods this spring.

“Home fires remain the most frequent disaster during COVID-19, yet most of us don’t realize we have just two minutes to safely escape,” said Ed Bush, executive director for the American Red Cross Capital Area-West Chapter. “As families spend more time at home during the pandemic, it’s critical that we help our vulnerable neighbors protect themselves from these everyday disasters.”

Lafayette is among more than 50 at-risk communities participating in the national Red Cross Sound the Alarm initiative with partners. Local volunteers are also meeting virtually with families to review fire safety for their household.

HOW TO KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE Help protect your family against home fires by taking two simple steps: Practice your two-minute escape drill and test your smoke alarms monthly. Visit www.SoundTheAlarm.org/louisiana for more information and to pledge to prepare your family against home fires.

Create an escape plan with at least two ways to exit every room in your home. Select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone knows to meet.
Practice your escape plan until everyone in your household can get out in less than two minutes.
Place smoke alarms on each level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Change the batteries at least once a year if your model requires it.
Check the manufacturer’s date of your smoke alarms. If they’re 10 years or older, they likely need to be replaced. Follow your alarm’s manufacturer instructions.

This work is made possible thanks to generous financial donations from regional partners: Ochsner Health Systems, Jefferson Parish, Entergy and Acadian Ambulance Service.

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