American Red Cross volunteers handing out fire safety tips

POWELL, Tenn. (WVLT) -- Fire: it can be a family's worst nightmare. Knowing ways to prevent fires - and what to do if one breaks out - could help save someone's life.

Volunteers with the American Red Cross went door-to-door in Powell spreading the word as part of their National Day of Service efforts.

Many are grateful for the tips.

"It would help a lot, because sometimes people aren't aware that having a heater in certain parts of the house is very dangerous, especially around the curtains and next to the sofas and stuff like that," said Adam Raby.

Other advice includes keeping fire extinguishers in the kitchen, not overloading electrical devices, testing smoke alarms and changing their batteries every year.

Volunteers said one of the most important things is having a fire escape plan, and practicing that plan at least twice a year. They said it's also important for everyone in the home to know where to go once they escape from the fire.

The tips hit home for Lynette Wyrick, who doesn't have an escape plan.

"We currently do not, but receiving this, it'll help me get one. So we'll definitely make one now," she said.

To get kids comfortable with fire fighters, volunteers dropped off fire prevention coloring books.

"It makes them more aware of what could happen by some of the illustrations in the book," said Dan Phillips, who has three children.

Phillip said he's hopeful he'll never have to deal with fire himself, but is grateful to the volunteers for helping him prepare just in case.

"If we are able to save one person, then we've done our job," said Jeannine Henney, an American Red Cross volunteer.

American Red Cross volunteers will be handing out fire safety tips in neighborhoods all over Knox County through Monday.

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