Red Cross to install smoke alarms, teach fire safety in Pike County

Staff Report

PIKEVILLE – The American Red Cross Eastern Kentucky Chapter will be visiting the Phelps, Freeburn and Majestic communities as part of its Home Fire Campaign to teach people how to be prepared for home fires and install smoke alarms where needed.

Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a home fire. Countless others suffer injuries. To combat these tragic statistics, the Red Cross has launched a nationwide campaign to reduce the number of deaths and injuries due to home fires by 25 percent over the next five years.

The Home Fire Campaign is happening all over the country and involves Red Cross workers joining with local fire departments and community groups to visit neighborhoods at high risk for fires. Those visits include educating people about fire safety through door-to-door visits and installation of smoke alarms in some of these neighborhoods.

Red Cross volunteers will be going through Phelps, Freeburn and Majestic areas on Saturday, August 29, 2015 starting at 10:00am to install smoke alarms in homes that need them and teach people about fire safety. University of Pikeville students and Phelps Volunteer Fire Department will be assisting as well.

“Installing smoke alarms cuts the risk of someone dying from a home fire in half, so we’re joining with UPIKE and Phelps’s VFD to install smoke alarms in local communities,” said Joanna King, Executive Director of the Eastern Kentucky Chapter. “We will also take this opportunity to teach residents how to react to and stay safe from home fire.”

Twenty-four University of Pikeville students will be participating as part of the university’s new “Becoming A Bear” program. This is the first time undergraduate degrees are requiring service learning for all freshmen. “The goal is to teach first year students about the power of service, self-sacrifice, and working with the community,” said Rob Musick, UPIKE Chaplain/Instructor of Religion. “This is also a great opportunity to link students together to help them meet each other, build community awareness, and experience the county in a fresh way.” UPIKE plans to have around 400 students working over three different days of service.

Simple Steps to Save Lives: The Red Cross is asking everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. There are several things families and individuals can do to increase their chances of surviving a fire, for more information visit

The Red Cross responds to nearly 70,000 disasters each year in the United States and the vast majority of those are home fires. In Kentucky, the Red Cross responded to over 1,400 disasters last year, most of which were home fires. You can help people affected by disasters like home fires and countless other crises by making a donation to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Visit, call 1-800-RED CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

Staff Report

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