WAYNE – Several Nebraska communities received assistance from American Red Cross volunteers over the weekend as there were nine home fires.
Since Friday, April 30, Red Cross volunteers have assisted families affected by single-home fires in South Sioux City, Omaha (three), Grand Island, Lincoln, Martell, Papillion and Guide Rock. The immediate needs of affected residents were addressed by providing vital care and comfort.
Red Cross officials are ensuring the affected residents have a safe place to stay, while also addressing other needs. Volunteers are also working with each household to set up individualized recovery plans.
The Red Cross is in the midst of its Sound the Alarm campaign, during which the organization is preparing families to be prepared in case of a home fire. Through targeted outreach, the Red Cross is working with community partners this spring to connect—primarily virtually—with families to provide education about fire safety. Most people don’t realize that they have just two minutes to escape a home fire.
Those in Iowa wishing to have a phone conversation with a Red Cross volunteer about home fire safety and learn how to make their homes safer should call 1-833-422-1751 or visit redcross.org/smokealarmNE.
Especially considering the recent increase in home fires, the Red Cross recommends families take two simple steps to be safe in creating an escape plan and regularly testing smoke alarms.
Escape plans should include two ways from each room of the home to outside. Plans should also include a meeting point that is a safe distance from the home. Smoke alarms should be located on each level of your home. They can be tested by pressing the test button. If three beeps are heard, the alarm is working. If not, it is time to change the batteries. If your smoke alarm is more than 10-years old, it is time to get a new alarm as the sensors become less sensitive over time.
Households that do have working smoke alarms currently installed can request free smoke alarms by visiting redcross.org/smokealarmNE. Due to COVID-19 safety guidelines, installations are limited to where and when they are safe to do.