Red Cross, HFD spread fire safety message

Red Cross, HFD spread fire safety message

American Red Cross volunteers and Hattiesburg firefighters have teamed up for the first time to try to prevent house fires in the Hub City.

They went door-to-door to about 150 residences in East Hattiesburg Saturday morning as part of a new nationwide initiative to reduce injuries and deaths due to home fires.

They handed out fire safety information and installed more than 50 donated smoke detectors.

"American Red Cross nationally did a little survey and found that in Mississippi, the Hattiesburg zip code comes up as one of the top ten for severe injury or death from home fires," said Angie Grajeda, American Red Cross disaster program manager for South Mississippi. "And so, we wanted to start where those needs are highest and then work our way out," she said.

"It being Fire Prevention Month, it's the perfect time to do it," said Paul Presley, Hattiesburg Fire Chief. "And we get our guys to go out and hand out smoke detectors and in the process while we're installing them, we can actually maybe talk to the citizens a little bit about fire safety," he said.

The nationwide goal is to reduce the number of deaths and injuries in house fires by 25 percent over the next five years.