GULFPORT, MS (WLOX) - Some residents in north Gulfport and Turkey Creek are more knowledgeable on how to prevent a fire from destroying their home.
The American Red Cross spearheaded an event with area volunteers to commemorate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday by offering lifesaving fire safety tips Monday.
Instead of taking the day off Gulfport firefighters, girl scouts and church groups made a day of community service to honor the late Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
"He would be very happy. It's about making a difference and that's what we are doing," volunteer Rose Johnson said.
Nearly 20 volunteers, began canvassing the Turkey Creek and north Gulfport area hoping to get the word out about fire safety.
"We think it's very important we get out and serve the community and partnering with the Red Cross and making people aware of fires that happen in the low income communities," said Johnson.
Life saving tips included, keeping matches out of children's reach, avoid running cords under carpet and furniture and making sure flammable items like towels and clothes are away from the stove were just a few of the lessons these volunteers shared.
"Handing out door hangers that have fire safety tips. Also engaging residents in conversations to make sure they do have a smoke detector. That it's functional and they do have batteries. And making sure they have a fire escape plan," said Lorena Williams.
And with each home they visited, the volunteers said they're making the community safer and a better place to live.
"One of life's most persistant and urgent questions is, what are we doing for others? And today we will answer that question by giving service in these communities," said Johnson.
It's a lesson Dr. King would encourage.
Home fires are Gulfport's most prevalent disaster threat. In 2011 alone nearly 200 fires broke out. Volunteers also spoke to residents living in Gaston Point and Pearlington.