Red Cross, State Farm team for fire preparedness effort

Friday, September 21, 2012
American Red Cross, State Farm and high school volunteers will be placing fire safety information on doors in Spencer Saturday morning. (Photo by Randy M. Cauthron)

Recognizing National Preparedness Month, the American Red Cross and Spencer State Farm agencies are partnering to generate a greater knowledge and preparedness to respond to home fires.

Red Cross volunteers will join representatives from State Farm and a group of high school students Saturday morning to place "Fire Safety Tips" door hangers in a residential neighborhood where a home fire impacted multiple residents at an apartment complex in the southeast part of town in June.

Volunteers will leave the Spencer Dream Center - where the local Red Cross office is located - at 10 a.m. Saturday and spend about two hours hanging the informational pieces, offering tips on how to prevent home fires, ways to practice home fire safety, and what to do in case of a home fire.

"We want to help people prevent fires first, and if there is a fire, we want them to know what they are supposed to do," Bob Kirschbaum, resource officer for the American Red Cross, said. "We are happy to partner with State Farm on this. All the agents in town are working with us."

Kirschbaum noted that anyone who wants to join the distribution effort should meet at the Dream Center before 10 a.m. "Everyone is welcome."

Volunteers with the American Red Cross assisted 24 families following the apartment fire in Spencer, providing temporary housing, clothing and food to the victims as needed.

"On that fire, we had volunteers from six different counties to help serve. Since it was on Flagfest weekend, all of our local volunteers were tied up with Flagfest responsibilities," Kirschbaum recalled.

As part of the ongoing home fire safety focus, the American Red Cross and State Farm door hangers will be provided to all elementary children in the Spencer schools, during a campaign in October. The Spencer Fire Department, as part of fire prevention week, will coordinate the school distribution efforts.

Kirschbaum said the informational items are available to anyone who would like to pick them up, and will be available at any local State Farm agent's office or at the Spencer Dream Center.

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