By Margaret Liendo
Stop, drop and roll! This is the famous phrase that is used when you catch fire, but I hope you’ll never have to put it into practice. That is why an important way of being safe when a fire occurs is to know when it occurs and know what your fastest escape route is. That is why on Saturday, October 24, members of SJC’s American Red Cross club joined other American Red Cross volunteers as well as those in the Greater Patchogue Community Organization Active in Disaster (COAD) in Patchogue’s Home Fire Preparedness campaign. The campaign focused on providing free installation of smoke detectors for homes and educating residents on the causes of fires and formulating their best escape routes.
After a fire begins, you only have about two minutes to get out of the house. Two minutes, can you imagine that! That is why it’s important to know at least two ways to safely evacuate from each room of your house and get to a safer location. While some volunteers were responsible for talking with the residents on fire safety and how to get out of the house, others were busy installing the smoke alarm. “I noticed the efforts were often for someone who would have had trouble doing it themselves,” campus minister Pat Tracy stated, “this practical, educational program made the whole neighborhood safer!”
All in all, the event was a success because close to 70 smoke detectors were installed in homes within the area. Now, these homes are safer than when they first started. The American Red Cross organization’s goal is to continue these campaigns so that by the next five years, there will be a 25 percent decrease in fire deaths and injuries. Please play your part by always checking your smoke alarms and knowing how to get out of any place in your home in case of a fire. I know that smoke alarms can be a hassle, especially if they go off while you’re cooking (which doesn’t mean you’re a bad cook), but we shouldn’t turn them off or dismount them because you may never know if it may one day save your life!