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Free smoke alarms for Southport, Boothbay Harbor, Boothbay

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Smoke alarms save lives. It’s that simple.

SOUTHPORT, BOOTHBAY AND BOOTHBAY HARBOR – The American Red Cross of Maine is teaming up with local partners to make residents of Southport, Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor safer by installing free smoke alarms in their homes on Saturday, Aug. 26.

“Smoke alarms save lives. It’s that simple,” Boothbay Harbor Fire Chief Nick Upham said. “You improve your chances of survival even further by having an escape plan.”

Southport, Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor residents can make an appointment for a home fire safety visit and free smoke alarm installation by calling the Red Cross at 874-1192, extension 113, or going to SoundTheAlarm.org/Maine. People interested in volunteering can also use that phone number and website.

“When a home fire strikes, you have only about two minutes to escape safely. We know that working smoke alarms reduce the risk of death in half,” said Southport Fire Chief Gerry Gamage.

“Home fires pose a great risk to communities. They kill seven people each day in the United States, but we can make ourselves safer through preparedness,” said Boothbay Fire Chief Richard Spofford.

The Aug. 26 event is part of an ambitious Red Cross campaign launched in 2014 to reduce home fire deaths and injuries by a quarter by 2020.

“Every eight minutes, the Red Cross responds to a disaster in the United States. The vast majority are home fires and they kill more people than all other disasters combined,” said Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Larry French. “Working with our community partners, we are making people safer, home by home.”

In Maine, the Red Cross and its partners have installed more than 8,000 smoke alarms and are on track to install an additional 3,600 over the next year. Nationally, 941,916 smoke alarms have been installed and at least 268 lives have been saved.

The event for Southport, Boothbay Harbor and Boothbay is made possible by a grant from the Doree Taylor Charitable Foundation, Bank of America, N.A., Trustee, as is the case with two other Lincoln County smoke alarm installation events. The one in Waldoboro last month made 64 residents safer and installed 121 free smoke alarms. Another will be held in Wiscasset on Sept. 23.

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Photo Caption: “Smoke alarms save lives. It’s that simple,” says Boothbay Harbor Fire Chief Nick Upham, left, pictured with Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Larry French. The Fire Department is among the organizations partnering with the American Red Cross of Maine to install free smoke alarms in homes on Aug. 26.