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Red Cross Hopes To Save Lives With Free Smoke Detectors

The Houston chapter of the American Red Cross recently staged a drive to install smoke detectors in homes across southwest Houston.

After two fatal fires last Monday, the Houston chapter of the American Red Cross recently staged a drive to install smoke detectors in homes across southwest Houston.

“We really wanted to put together something very fast and very quickly to kind of be reactive and to try to make a difference to prevent these fatalities,” Justin Woodruff, disaster program manager at the Red Cross, said. “And the best way to do that is through a combination of education prevention information and having working smoke detectors.”

Joined by 12 volunteers, the Red Cross visited 30 homes and Woodruff said more are planned for southwest Houston and Pasadena, where the fatal fires took place.   

Woodruff said the volunteers received a warm reception because those in the affected neighborhoods are talking about the tragedies and looking for ways to protect their loved ones.  

“People think they’ve got time to plan, to grab things, to look after the family.  You’ve got two minutes to get out of there and two minutes, 120 seconds, is not a long time,” Woodruff said.

That’s why “we really encourage people to think ahead about what your escape plans are,” he said.

“Where can you exit the house? And really importantly: what is the rally point? If everybody is diving out different windows and doors, where are you going to meet up outside the house to make sure everyone is OK?”

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