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State of Rhode Island Teams Up with American Red Cross to Prevent House Fires

Home fires in Rhode Island have increased 40% compared to this time last year. That's why the Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency is joining with the American Red Cross in a program to prevent home fires. Sound the Alarm Prepare-a-thon is a volunteer effort to educate communities about how people can better prepare themselves and their loves ones.

"Home fires have become more frequent during COVID-19 because more families are staying home," says Marc Pappas, Director, Rhode Island Emergency Management Agency. "In a home fire, you only have two minutes to escape. The best way to survive a home fire is to prevent it in the first place. It's critical that we help our neighbors protect themselves."

"Sound the Alarm Prepare-a-thon does just that," says Susan Roberts, Executive Director, American Red Cross Rhode Island Chapter. "We are asking Rhode Islanders to help educate their neighbors and loved ones in our virtual home fire safety event. A special thanks to partners like RIEMA who are committed to keeping our communities safe."

Residents can help in three simple steps: Practice your two-minute escape drill, test your smoke alarms monthly, and volunteer to educate others in your community.

Volunteers can sign up to participate in the Prepare-a-thon as an individual or put together a team. Training and materials will be provided to all participants, available in English and Spanish. Volunteers can deliver the quick 10-minute home fire education to people they know over the phone or via video conference at their convenience throughout the month. There will be prizes for top volunteers, those who educate the most people. Prepare-a-thon ends May 8th.

Sign up today to help keep families safe from home fire. Visit: www.redcross.org/RISoundTheAlarm for more information.

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