On the weekend of March 7-8, the 1-800-BOARDUP home office volunteered alongside the Eastern Missouri Regional Chapter of the American Red Cross and St. Louis firefighters to install smoke detectors in “at risk” residences in the St. Louis area.
There have been an unprecedented number of fire-related deaths and injuries in the St. Louis area this year due to an increase in the number house fire incidences. These deaths may have been prevented with the use of working smoke detectors. As a result, the Eastern Missouri Regional Chapter of the American Red Cross is taking action. To kick off March’s Red Cross Month, the St. Louis chapter of the American Red Cross began its Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.
The organization opened a hotline for people to call in and request a smoke alarm be installed in their residence to help make their homes safer. Over 550 people requested the Red Cross’s assistance! About 215 of these households are within city limits; and when the city fire department heard about the number of requests, they wanted to help.
Due to our National Disaster Responder Partnership, the Red Cross reached out to the St. Louis 1-800-BOARDUP team the week before the event for assistance in recruiting volunteers. We helped to advertise the event through social media in an attempt to recruit more volunteers and raise awareness.
Through the volunteer efforts the weekend of March 7 and 8, we were able to reach about 450 homes as part of the Red Cross’s ongoing Home Fire Preparedness Campaign – installing up to three smoke alarms per home!
There have been a large number of multi-family fires this year in the St. Louis area. The Red Cross told us what really pushed them to take action was the alarming number of displaced individuals in the past month. A volunteer coordinator told us that the weekend of February 21-22 they saw 50 adults and 29 children displaced. That’s 79 people displaced in just one weekend! We were all so shocked when we heard the news; it really motivated us to get involved and help recruit volunteers.
Although they may not have had the volunteer power they were looking for, the event still went over very well and we were glad to be a part of it. We greatly value our partnership with the Red Cross and look forward to continuing to serve the organization and the community.