Red Cross wants to cut fire deaths by 25 percent

Friday, September 18, 2015

Just lately -- at least early in the morning -- the air in Southeast Missouri has held an unmistakable chill. Humidity has lessened and the mosquitoes appear to be receding at last.

Pretty soon, fall will be in full swing as the smell of wood smoke joins the fallen leaves to create an aroma redolent of approaching winter.

Most of us can't wait for an excuse to seek the warmth of a fireplace or wood-burning stove instead of cranking up the air conditioning unit.

But, as with many pleasant things and seasons, caution also is required as temperatures drop.

That's why the Southeast Missouri Chapter of the American Red Cross is getting ready to kick off its Fire Preparedness Campaign.

On Oct. 24, the disaster relief organization's volunteers plan to join with local fire departments and other groups to canvass a large swath of Cape Girardeau, providing free smoke alarm installations to people in areas at most risk for fire, and educating participants about fire safety.

The effort is part of a national campaign to reduce the number of home fire deaths by 25 percent in the next five years. Although mostly preventable, such fires pose the greatest disaster risk, according to the Red Cross.

So as the cold weather sets in, please make sure fire safety is a top priority. If you'd like to know if you qualify for a free fire alarm installation, call (573) 335-9471, Ext. 1310.

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