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Tuesday, December 23, 2003
RI Red Cross Responds to Fire on Pennsylvania Avenue -- Tips for How You Can Prevent a House Fire

American Red Cross of Rhode Island responded to the call for assistance after a house fire affected two families, 8 adults and 5 children, on 22 Pennsylvania Avenue in Providence. The RI Red Cross is providing the families with food, clothing, winter coats and shelter to help them get back on their feet.

The past month and a half has already proved to be devastating, affecting over 62 local families.  Imagine being woken up at four in the morning to smoke alarms and chaos. You're suddenly forced out onto the streets wearing nothing but your sleeping clothes. Thankfully your family escaped unharmed, but you're left with the thoughts of what to do next. In the midst of disaster, Red Cross volunteers arrive with warm blankets, a hot meal, and a safe place to stay. This is what the American Red Cross is all about.

Make Your Home Fire Safe

  • Smoke detectors save lives. Install a battery-powered smoke detector outside each sleeping area and on each additional level of your home.
  • Use the test button to check each smoke detector once a month. When necessary, replace batteries immediately. Replace batteries at least once a year.
  • Have a working fire extinguisher in the kitchen. Get training from the fire department on how to use it.
  • Keep all portable heaters at least three feet away from flammable items. Turn off space heaters before leaving a room or going to sleep. Also, use only manufacturer recommended fuel in portable kerosene heaters. Shut down and cool off such equipment before refueling.

The Red Cross of Rhode Island typically spends $1,000 per family of four that it assists. All Red Cross assistance is free, thanks to contributions from individuals and organizations. The Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on private donations to provide emergency assistance to Rhode Islanders in crisis.

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