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Iowa Region Installs More than 2,500 Smoke Alarms in April

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“Those 2,500 smoke alarms will be out there protecting families every day for years to come,"

The Iowa Region of the American Red Cross and its partners installed more than 2,500 smoke alarms in homes across the state in April. This accomplishment is part of a nationwide Home Fire Campaign to reduce the number of people who die or are injured during a fire in their home.

“Those 2,500 smoke alarms will be out there protecting families every day for years to come, said Julie Struck, Regional Disaster Officer for the Iowa Region Red Cross. “Thank you to the local volunteers and partners for going door-to-door to spread preparedness information in their communities.” 

In April, the Red Cross and its partners installed 2,572 smoke alarms in nine Iowa towns, including Des Moines, Cushing, Washta, Madrid, Dubuque, Cedar Falls, Waterloo, Stratford, Sioux City and LeMars. 

“Home fires are tragic and devastating to those who experience them,” said Struck. “The Red Cross is committed to mobilizing volunteers and local partners to help people protect and prepare both their families and communities.”

The Home Fire Campaign is a multi-year effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. Working with fire departments and community groups across the country, the Red Cross is installing smoke alarms in homes in neighborhoods at high risk for fires and teaching residents about fire prevention and preparedness. Since the beginning of fiscal year 2016 (July 1, 2015,) Red Cross volunteers and partners have installed 3,828 smoke alarms in homes in 26 Iowa communities. 

On January 25, 2016, a smoke alarm installed by Fort Dodge Firefighters, Red Cross and Walmart volunteers alerted Jamie Robinson, Ed Derrig and their two young daughters, to a fire in their home. All got out safely because of the new smoke alarms and the escape plan they created with Red Cross volunteer, Peggy Jordan on October 24, 2015. 

Home Fire Campaign smoke alarm installation projects are planned in the following communities this spring:

Fort Dodge: May 2

Ogden: June 11 and July 9

Iowa City: June 18 

WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO The Red Cross asks everyone to take two simple steps to help prevent injury and death during a fire in their home – check their smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. Every household should develop a fire escape plan and practice it several times a year and at different times of the day. The plan should include two ways to get out of every room and a place to meet outside. Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas or homes on the second floor or above.

People should also install smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. The alarms should be tested every month and the batteries replaced at least once a year.

People can visit redcross.org to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire or contact their local Red Cross to learn about the location of local smoke alarm installation events. They can also help by volunteering their time or making a donation today to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. We respond to nearly 70,000 other disasters every year, from home fires to hurricanes and more. Learn more about how Disaster Relief donations have helped people affected by previous disasters including home fires.

The Red Cross would like to thank our partners for their support of the Home Fire Campaign including: The Iowa State Fire Marshal Division, Iowa Firefighters Association, Nationwide, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Mercy Medical Center – Sioux City, State Farm, Transamerica, Walmart KCRG-TV9 and KTIV.