Local Volunteers to Distribute Home Fire Safety Tips

Red Cross and Firefighters from Fond Du Lac working together at 2012 MLK day event.

American Red Cross staff and volunteers, fire department, Girl Scouts, Fresh Start representatives will honor the service of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by canvassing neighborhoods to provide tips on fire safety and prevention, and to remind residents that home fires are one disaster that can be prevented.

During the MLK National Day of Service volunteers will be talking with people who are at home about ways to heat and cook safely, the value of smoke alarms and the need to create and practice a household fire escape plan. Fire safety and prevention door hangers in English and in Spanish will be provided to all homes volunteers visit, and left for neighbors who are not at home.

Anyone can be affected by a fire, regardless of background or geographic location, so when a volunteer rings your doorbell to encourage you to take the simple steps necessary to protect your family and home from fire, please listen up.

Community Outreach Teams include:

Saturday, January 19th Meetings at 9:00a.m. for briefing & canvassing instructions

Fond du Lac/North Fond du Lac: Red Cross office, 272 N. Main Street

Appleton: Fire Station 1, 700 Drew Street

Grand Chute: Fire Station, 2250 W. Grand Chute Boulevard

Neenah/Menasha: Fire Station 40, 1326 Cold Springs Road

Sheboygan: Fire Station 3, 1326 N. 25th Street

Monday, January 21st

Iola: Red Cross office in Waupaca, 9:00a.m. For the second consecutive year a team of Fresh Start staff/volunteers will canvass Iola and then Scandinavia if time permits.


Iron Mountain Michigan area: We have partnered with many local school districts to send information home in the children’s Friday folders.  School districts that have received the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. fire prevention door hangers include Iron Mountain, Woodland Elementary, Niagara, Norway, North Dickinson.  About 2,000 door hangers were distributed.

Green Bay School District: Is also sending fire prevention information home with the children.

Manitowoc: Has already been canvassed thanks to a local school group.

Home fires are the most common disaster that the Red Cross responds to—the Northeast Wisconsin Chapter responded to 171 local disasters last year with the national average being 90% are residential fires. And, according to the National Fire Protection Association, fires claim nine lives every day in the U.S. Make sure you and your loved ones are not part of these statistics.

With many people have the day-off on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, we are urging residents to take time with their families to create awareness. This includes practicing escape routes, establishing your meeting place, building a kit and making an overall plan should an emergency strike.

Lifesaving fire safety and prevention information is also available on the American Red Cross public website, www.redcross.org.

For additional information and to become involved in the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service please contact Lisa Stanchfield, Community Disaster Education leader, at 920-904-0820 or at Lisa.Stanchfield@redcross.org.

Red Cross Offers Cooking Safety Tips For Thanksgiving Chefs

Cooking Leading Cause of Home Fires

Thanksgiving is all about food and family – turkey, stuffing, sweet potatoes, pumpkin pie and family time. However, preparing holiday goodies can lead to disaster – the kitchen is the setting of more fires than any other room in the house, and cooking is the leading cause of fires in the home. The American Red Cross has safety steps to use while preparing the Thanksgiving feast. 

The Red Cross wants folks to have a safe holiday and the following will help avoid ruining the holiday with a cooking fire.

The cooks should start by not wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking. Never leave cooking food unattended – stay in the kitchen when frying, grilling or broiling food. If someone must leave the kitchen for even a short period of time, they should turn-off the stove. Other safety steps include:

  • Check food regularly while cooking and remain in the home while cooking. Use a timer as a reminder that the stove or oven is on.
  • Keep the kids away from the cooking area. Enforce a “kid-free zone” and make them stay at least three feet away from the stove.
  • Keep anything that can catch fire – pot holders, oven mitts, wooden utensils, paper or plastic bags, food packaging, and towels or curtains—away from the stove, oven or any other appliance in the kitchen that generates heat.
  • Clean cooking surfaces on a regular basis to prevent grease buildup.
  • Purchase a fire extinguisher to keep in the kitchen. Contact the local fire department to take training on the proper use of extinguishers.
  • Always check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving the home to make sure all stoves, ovens, and small appliances are turned off.
  • Install a smoke alarm near the kitchen, on each level of the home, near sleeping areas, and inside and outside bedrooms. Use the test button to check it each month. Replace all batteries at least once a year.

Another helpful step is to download the Red Cross First Aid app which puts expert advice for everyday emergencies in someone’s hand. Available for iPhone and Android devices, the official Red Cross First Aid app gives instant access to the information needed to handle the most common first aid emergencies. With videos, interactive quizzes and simple step-by-step advice it’s never been easier to know first aid.

House fires are the worst disaster threat to families in the United States. To learn how to prevent a fire in the home and how to keep members of the household safe, people can download The Red Cross Fire Prevention and Safety Checklist.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.