The American Red Cross joined forces with community groups to educate residents in the area around ServeErie’s headquarters on the importance of home fire safety and to install free smoke alarms when they hosted a Sound the Alarm event in Erie on Saturday, May 5. This event is the fifth to occur in Western Pennsylvania over the past week and one of over 100 to occur nationwide as the Red Cross targets communities at a high-risk of home fires in an effort to install over 100,000 free smoke alarms during a three-week period.
”Each day in communities throughout our country, roughly seven people die in home fires,” commented Pam Masi, American Red Cross Northwestern Pennsylvania Executive Director. “Our goal is to provide the information needed to hopefully help prevent home fires and – should a fire occur – the tools needed for people to safely escape.”
Having a working smoke alarm can increase your chances of safely evacuating a burning home by over 50%. Since the program was started in October 2014, the American Red Cross has installed over 20,000 free smoke alarms in Western Pennsylvania. This past week alone, more than 1,700 smoke alarms were installed during Sound the Alarm events in Pittsburgh, Erie, Aliquippa, Uniontown, and Clearfield. Nationally, over one million free smoke alarms have been installed since 2014.
Masi added, “Our goal today was to install 200 free smoke alarms in Erie. We are so grateful to our financial supporters and community volunteers for enabling us to surpass that goal and install 315 smoke alarms, making 122 homes safer right here in Erie!”
Erie Mayor Joe Schember and Erie Fire Chief Guy Santone participated in the event, along with roughly 70 additional community volunteers.
Financial partners include (nationally) Almost Family, Delta Airlines, FEMA, International Paper, (locally) and Erie Insurance.
Community partners and others who provided volunteer and logistical support include ServErie, Team Rubicon, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Bayfront Eastside Taskforce, Wayne Baptist Church, Polish Falcons, and FEMA Corps.