bcc-Red Cross Volunteers - Fire Station 15 District of Columbia

Red Cross volunteers. (Courtesy Photo)

The American Red Cross in the National Capital Region joined forces with regional organizations and their leaders to participate in the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign as part of the National MLK Day of Service.

The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative. It asks for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems.

The goal of the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign is to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent in five years. Home fires kill an average of seven people every day, and every 40 minutes an injury from a home fire is reported. Roughly 1,000 times every day, fire departments are called to a home fire.

The local Red Cross MLK Day of Service began at three local communities with remarks from partner organizations and Red Cross leaders. Volunteers and staff then canvassed door-to-door to talk with residents about the importance of fire safety and having escape plans for their households. Participants asked residents if they have working smoke detectors, and if a smoke detector was needed the team installed alarms free of charge. The American Red Cross set a goal of installing a minimum of 75 smoke alarms over four hours of service in each region: Prince George’s County, Washington D.C., and Alexandria.