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To the Editor: 
With the recent accidental fires, the American Red Cross wants the community to recognize that eighty percent of Americans do not know that home fires are the most common disaster in the United States.

Those are some of the findings of a poll released by the Red Cross, whose local chapters helped families affected by nearly 67,000 home fires last year—92 percent of all Red Cross disaster responses.  Also, the National Fire Protection Association reports that children are twice as likely as adults to die in a home fire.

 Locally, we responded to more than 30 home fires last year here in Carroll, Harrison and Tuscarawas counties, including the recent eight-member Perez family home fire in Dover, and provided these families with immediate emergency assistance. 

Dedicated volunteers provide fire victims with assistance for food, clothing, temporary shelter and other special needs.  This relief is free and made possible by generous donations from people throughout our community.

We greatly appreciate contributions from our local neighbors and the support of disaster relief partners such as area emergency responders, the Salvation Army, the Emergency Management Agency and the United Way.  We could not do it with the community effort.

Most importantly, we recommend every household needs two important things:  working smoke alarms and a home fire escape plan so that every family member knows how to get out of harm’s way quickly. 

For more information, visit www.mlcredcross.org or call 330.343.8633.  Together, we can be a lifesaver!

Chad Conrad
American Red Cross Director
Carroll, Harrison, Tuscarawas Counties

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