Maui News

Maui Red Cross to Canvass Kīhei Neighborhood for Fire Safety

December 20, 2016, 3:03 PM HST
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An 84-year-old Kīhei woman is safe after an accidental fire at her Luakaha Circle home on Sunday afternoon, Dec. 18, 2016. Photo Courtesy: Chris Stankis

On Thursday, Dec. 22 from 4 to 6 p.m., a group of Maui Red Cross volunteers will be canvassing the Kīhei Piʻilani Village subdivision, where a residential fire occurred this past Sunday.

During the incident, an 84-year-old Kīhei woman escaped uninjured from her Luakaha Circle home after being awoken by bystanders who observed smoke coming from the garage of the residence.

The effort is to promote the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign in which volunteers will be sharing fire safety information and offering on the spot smoke alarm battery replacement and smoke alarm installations.

Nationwide, the Red Cross responds to a disaster every eight minutes, the vast majority of these incidents being home fires.

“Home fires can be a deadly threat because they happen so quickly,” said Michele Liberty, Maui Red Cross Director. “We are urging Maui residents to ensure that they have working smoke alarms in their homes.”  In the United States, home fires kill more people each year than all other natural disasters combined said Liberty.

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Working with fire departments and community groups across the entire country, the American Red Cross installs smoke alarms in homes in neighborhoods at high risk for home fires. In the last two years, more than half a million smoke alarms have been installed as part of the Home Fire Campaign.

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Those in need of smoke alarms can call the Maui Red Cross office at (808) 244-0051 to sign up.

The American Red Cross is also asking every household in America to take some simple steps that can help prevent home fires and save lives.  The organization offered the following tips:

INSTALL AND TEST SMOKE ALARMS:

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Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half:

  • Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month.
  • Change the batteries at least once a year – if your model requires it.
  • Replace smoke alarms every ten years.

MAKE A PLAN:

People may only have two minutes to escape when a fire occurs. The Red Cross recommends that households develop a fire escape plan and practice it at least twice a year. Everyone should know two ways to escape from every room and designate a safe place to meet outside the home in case of a fire. Discuss the plan with all household members and practice it until everyone – including children – can escape in less than two minutes

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS:

The Red Cross Emergency App includes content on how to prevent home fires and what to do if one occurs. Parents can download the Monster Guard App to help their children learn what to do and how to protect themselves. Both apps can be downloaded for free in app stores or by going to the link above.

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