As part of a nationwide campaign, the Greater Cincinnati Chapter of the American Red Cross is joining with local fire departments, and corporate and community partners, to install free smoke alarms in homes across the region. By installing more than 25,000 smoke alarms in homes over the next five years, we intend to reduce fire fatalities and serious injuries by 25 percent.
Why are we doing this? Seven times a day, someone in the United States is killed as a result of a home fire. This is unacceptable. A working smoke alarm reduces one’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half. Still, statistics show that only 20 percent of families realize home fires are the single-most common type of disaster, or that they only have two minutes to escape once a smoke alarm goes off.
How are we doing this? We install smoke alarms in one of three ways:
• Several times a year, we hold large rallies in which we sweep through select neighborhoods, knocking on doors and offering to install smoke alarms and make a preparedness plan for free.
• We return to a neighborhood in which a tragic fire recently occurred and offer to install smoke alarms to those in the area, who have just seen the tragedy a home fire can cause.
• We respond to the growing number of people who are calling us and asking for us to come to their homes and install them.
How can you help?
• Sign up online to be part of our next rally.
• Become part of the response team or install-by-appointment team by emailing KevanDilworth@RedCross.org. Filling these two teams is our greatest need right now. The demand for smoke alarms has outpaced our supply of volunteers who are trained to install them.