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Local Red Cross offers fire safety tips

The biggest disaster threat to families across our nation every day isn't a flood or hurricane; it's fire. On average, the Madison- Oneida Chapter responds to an average of 14 fires per year in its jurisdiction; part of home fire responses by the American Red Cross to more than 63,000 local fires throughout the country.

October is Fire Safety Month. That's why the American Red Cross is encouraging people to take steps to minimize the risk of home fires by remembering two key fire safety steps: install a smoke alarm and develop a fire escape plan.

"Fires can strike suddenly and spread quickly," said Susan Tonra, Executive Director, Madison-Oneida Chapter. "It's important that people take simple and inexpensive steps now, such as installing a smoke alarm inside bedrooms, outside sleeping areas and on every level of their homes. They should also create a plan of escape in case they need to leave at a moment's notice, because during a fire every second counts and being prepared can greatly reduce the affects of these devastating disasters."

It is recommended that people check each smoke alarm in their home by pushing the test button at least once a month and replace batteries every year, or as needed. Also, replace smoke alarms every ten years. Fire escape plans should include at least two escape routes from every room in the home, and a convenient meeting place at a safe distance from the home. Practice your escape plan at least twice a year and revise as necessary. Families are encouraged to pay particular attention to developing and regularly practicing escape plans for children and older adults.

The Red Cross is committed to helping people learn how to minimize the risk of a home fire. The chapter also recommends the following fire safety tips:

Simple steps to help prevent fires

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