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Cocoa Firefighters worked with the local American Red Cross to install 238 smoke alarms in 103 homes in the Sunrise Village neighborhood of Cocoa this past weekend as part of the American Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign. This included educating the community on the maintenance, testing and replacement information on the alarms, as well as reviewing fire safety education with the community.
In 2014, the American Red Cross released the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, a nationwide effort to combine new technology and innovation with old-fashioned neighbor-to-neighbor outreach that is aimed at saving lives, reducing injury, and cutting down on needless loss. Their goal with this campaign is to reduce the number of fire deaths and injuries in the United States by 25% within five years.
The Red Cross combined historical data on fire incidents with demographic risk factors like poverty to map those neighborhoods at greatest risk and teamed up with local organizations to install the smoke alarms.
"A huge thanks to the Cocoa Fire Department for coming out and joining forces with us. I would say our first event together was a great day! If you saw what I saw, I think you would agree that this community was in desperate need. I saw lots of children, elderly, those with functional needs, and others that may have challenges getting out of a burning home. That’s why we try to maximize the precious little warning time that folks will have in the event of a fire. You guys not only save lives on a daily basis, you take time out of your busy schedules for fire safety education with us. That makes you guys heroes in my book. I look forward to attacking more vulnerable communities in the future," said Mike McElrath, Disaster Program Manager for the American Red Cross, Florida's Space Coast Chapter - Central Florida Region.
Seven times a day, someone dies in a home fire in the United States. Every 40 minutes, an injury from a fire is reported. Nearly 1,000 times every day, fire departments are called to home fires. Damage from US home fires is bigger than the entire annual sales of many Fortune 500 companies. For the past 20 years, these numbers have been relatively stagnant. By mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors, the American Red Cross and coalition partners will attack that stagnation. (American Red Cross Disaster Cycle Services Job Tools - September 2014)
For more information on the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, you can reach the Florida's Space Coast Chapter - Central Florida Region of the American Red Cross at (321) 261-1523.