Columbia Gas Donates to Red Cross for Fire Prevention Month

(Columbus) -- As we settle into October - Fire Prevention Month - the Central and Southern Ohio Region of the American Red Cross expresses gratitude to Columbia Gas for a substantial donation from Columbia Gas received through the NiSource Charitable Foundation for its Home Fire Campaign. The generous gift of $50,000 dollars supports year-round efforts of the Red Cross to reduce home fire deaths and injuries through a multifaceted approach.

“The Red Cross is honored to have Columbia Gas as one of our very committed corporate partners and we are incredibly grateful for their very generous support,” said Stephanie Byrd, Regional Executive Officer for the Central and Southern Ohio Region. The Red Cross truly values our partnership with Columbia Gas, which furthers the delivery of our mission and provides life-changing benefits to individuals, families and communities.”

Launched in 2014, the Home Fire Campaign has been credited with saving at least 820 lives around the country and making almost 900,000 homes safer. Financial support of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign is used to prepare for, respond to, and recover from home fires.

  • Preparedness: Through a series of virtual and in-person classes, the Red Cross provides adults and children with the skills and confidence they need to handle an emergency. Through our Sound the Alarm Program we install free smoke alarms in homes and create personalized home fire escape plans for residents. 
  • Response: We meet the urgent needs of individuals and families who have suffered a home fire, by providing food, temporary emergency lodging, health and mental health services and financial assistance.
  • Recovery: We work closely with community partners to create plans and coordinate recovery services to ensure people get the assistance they need to get back on their feet.

“Columbia Gas of Ohio’s partnership with the American Red Cross Home Fire Safety Campaign aligns with our number one priority, and that is the safety of our customers,” said Columbia Gas President Vince Parisi. “Educating our customers about all aspects of home fire safety is critical in keeping individuals and families safe and we’re proud to support this important program.”

Home fires are so common, and dangerous that they claim more lives in a typical year than all natural disasters combined.  

During Fire Prevention month, the Red Cross and Columbia Gas urges residents to practice a two-minute fire escape drill:

  • Include at least two ways to exit every room in your home in your escape plan.
  • Select a meeting spot at a safe distance away from your home, such as your neighbor’s home or landmark like a specific tree in your front yard, where everyone knows to meet.
  • Place smoke alarms on each level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Test alarms monthly and change the batteries at least once a year, if your model requires it.
  • Check the manufacturer’s date of your smoke alarms. If they’re 10 years or older, they likely need to be replaced because components such batteries can become less reliable. Follow your alarm’s manufacturer instructions.
  • Tailor your escape plan to everyone’s needs in your household. If you or a loved one is deaf or hard of hearing, install strobe light and bed-shaker alarms to help alert you to a fire. Anyone who would like to have free smoke alarms installed in their home should call 844-207-4509 to set up an appointment.

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit and join us on Twitter and Facebook @ARCcsor.

Photo: Rader, Jensen (uploader)

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