Red-Cross-LogoThe American Red Cross is partnering with the Yarnell Fire Department and community groups to install free smoke alarms and help Yarnell residents map fire escape routes from their homes on March 19.

Residents will learn about fire safety, including cooking and heating tips and the need to create and how to practice a fire escape plan.

In 2013, the Red Cross helped the Yarnell community which was devastated after 19 firefighters died in the Yarnell Hill Fire. The wildfire forced the evacuation of hundreds of residents and their pets as it scorched thousands of acres and destroyed more than 100 structures. The Red Cross set up emergency shelters to provide shelter, food and comfort to evacuees. Hundreds of Red Cross volunteers were mobilized to assist.

“Yarnell residents welcomed the Red Cross into their town during their darkest day of need, now we would like to share a time of happiness helping save lives by installing smoke alarms in Yarnell homes,’’ said Scot Jackson, American Red Cross Northern Arizona Chapter Preparedness Coordinator/Disaster Instructor.

Community partners for the March 19 event include Fry’s, Brueggers Bagels, Phoenix Community Tool Bank and the Yavapai Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

This smoke alarm installation effort is part of the American Red Cross in Arizona’s centennial celebration this year and part of a national campaign to reduce deaths and injuries caused by fires. More than 5,000 smoke alarms have been installed throughout the Red Cross Arizona-New Mexico-El Paso Region during the past 17 months.

“When fire breaks out in your home, you have about two minutes to get out to safety,” said Scott Keyes, preparedness manager with the American Red Cross. “A working smoke alarm and an escape plan are critical. The Red Cross is committed to getting working smoke alarms into people’s homes, and helping them think through an escape plan for all family members.”

Nationally, on average, the Red Cross provides food, shelter, comfort and hope to people affected by approximately 63,000 fires every year, or about one fire every eight minutes.

The American Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, launched in October 2014, aims to reduce the number of fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent over the next five years. Sixty-nine lives have been saved as a direct result of the campaign so far. Working alongside fire departments and community groups across the country, the Red Cross and its partners have installed more than 239,000 smoke alarms in more than 4,100 cities and towns.

Volunteers are needed for the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign. Training is provided at each event, so all that is required is a commitment of time and a willingness to help. Individuals, as well as businesses, church groups and other civic organizations are encouraged to volunteer.

Through the generosity of donors and the power of volunteers, the American Red Cross can save lives, reduce injuries, and reduce the number of families impacted by home fires.

For more information about volunteering, please call the Red Cross Northern Arizona Chapter at 928-779-5494 or go to RedCross.org/Arizona. Visit www.redcross.org/homefires for more information on creating home fire escape plans.

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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