Partnership Bringing New Smoke Alarms into Chillicothe, Livingston County Homes
October 7, 2015

CAPTION: Eric Reeter, assistant chief and paramedic at the Chillicothe Fire Department, shows local resident Amy Hobbs the 10-year lithium battery-powered smoke detectors being installed in her home through the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign.

The American Red Cross of Northwest Missouri and the Livingston County Community Wellness Committee are teaming up with the Chillicothe Fire Department to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires by ensuring all homes in Livingston County have working smoke alarms.

The City of Chillicothe and Livingston County at large are the targeted area for October as part of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign. Local residents can receive smoke detectors with 10-year lithium batteries, installed by the Chillicothe Fire Department and county Volunteer Fire Departments.

The process involves completing a short application form, available through the Livingston County Health Center, located at 800 Adam Drive or the Chillicothe Fire Department at 700 Second Street. Those interested can also call the Red Cross of Northwest Missouri at (816)232-8439 to access the program. There is no 'catch' to receive these free smoke detectors, other than they must be installed by a partner of the project-most likely a local fire fighter. The program is targeted for vulnerable populations, such as disabled, elderly and low-income, but there are no financial guidelines.

The Home Fire Campaign aims to save lives, reduce injuries and build more resilient communities through raising awareness, facilitating preventative actions and fostering community participation. The national goal is a 25 percent reduction in home fire deaths over the next five years. "Last year, the American Red Cross of Northwest Missouri responded to over 100 home fires", states Karla Long, disaster program manager, with the American Red Cross. "The good news is that you can help protect your family by installing and maintaining smoke alarms throughout your home and teaching your children what to do if they hear it."

  • Families are encouraged to take these three steps to help minimize their risk:
  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the home and check them monthly by pressing the test button
  • Create a fire escape plan identifying two escape routes from every room of the home and identifying a meeting place a short distance from the home where family members can meet after escaping
  • Practice the escape plan at least twice a year, paying particular attention to children or older adults who many require extra time and care

If you are in a need of smoke alarms, one will be provided for you free of charge by calling the Livingston County Health Center at 660-646-5506; Chillicothe Fire Department at 660-646-2139 or the American Red Cross at 816-232-8439. Installation will be done by members of the Livingston County Fire Departments in your area.

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