Red Cross Volunteers Go Door-to-Door to Help Prevent House Fires
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va (WVIR) -
Red Cross volunteers from the Delta Sigma Phi fraternity at the University of Virginia knocked on door after door Saturday in the Belmont neighborhood of Charlottesville to teach homeowners how to avoid house fires.
The Red Cross is focusing on prevention after an increase in house fires across central Virginia this year put a significant financial burden on the organization.
The age of the homes and the close proximity of the homes in the Belmont district make it one of the greatest fire hazards in Charlottesville. So volunteers went door to door with a map and instructions from firefighters about what to say to residents.
“First we want to make sure they have working smoke alarms that they check it regularly with working batteries then we are going to go into evacuation planning,” said volunteer Michael Hermmann.
If no one was home, volunteers left a small packet that provides fire prevention tips. One family says the effort makes a difference.
“We will probably call the number in the packet that was handed out to see if there is any additional information any tips to follow up,” said resident Ross Bailes.
Saturday's door-to-door prevention push comes in response to an unusually high number of destructive fires across central Virginia. The Red Cross has helped 165 people affected by house fires in the past year.
“Even if you have an incident, if you at least understand what to do and how to keep your family safe, escape from the home safely, that is worth a lot,” said Bill Brent, executive director of American Red Cross Central Virginia. “Then the Red Cross will be there to help you pick up the pieces.”