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Red Cross volunteers to install free smoke detectors in selected areas over weekend

American Red Cross volunteers, who typically come to the aid of fire victims, will be promoting home fire safety in several Northern California communities over the Martin Luther King Day of Service weekend.

In the first nine days of this year, the Red Cross has responded to nearly 60 percent more home fires nationally than it did during the same period in 2017, according to a news release from the American Red Cross Gold Country Region. Nationwide, volunteers responded to 3,150 home fires in the first nine days of this year, compared to 2,003 fires during that period last year. The increase may be attributed in part to the string of dangerously cold days in some sections of the United States, as colder temperatures are often linked to fires in the home, the news release said.

Heating, holiday decorations, winter storms and candles contribute to increased fire risk during the winter months, according to the National Fire Protection Association and the U.S. Fire Administration.

Volunteers with the Red Cross Gold Country Region will honor the life of Marting Luther King Jr. by joining members of area fire departments in visiting homes in many neighborhoods considered at high risk for fires, according to the news release. They will install free smoke alarms and talk with residents about what they can do to be prepared if a fire breaks out in their home.

Volunteers will be at MLK Park, 2821 Wyandotte Ave., in the south Oroville area from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday and Monday. They also will be at the Rock Creek Mobile Home Park, 3765 Grass Valley Highway, in Auburn, and at the Shadow Lake Mobile Home Park, 5100 North Highway 99, in Stockton, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday.

Volunteers are needed in many areas to help install smoke alarms in at-risk communities, the news release said. To volunteer or obtain more information about fire safety and preparation, call the Red Cross’ Sacramento Office at 916-208-4058.

Cathy Locke: 916-321-5287, @lockecathy

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