Seven times a day, someone in this country dies in a home fire. Thousands more are injured. The American Red Cross of Eastern Missouri has initiated a campaign to reduce fire deaths and injuries by providing and installing FREE smoke alarms for families who cannot afford them in St. Louis and 21 surrounding Missouri and Illinois counties. To schedule a free smoke alarm installation, call 314.516.2797.
Red Cross CEO Cindy Erickson and Fire Chief Dennis Jenkerson held a demonstration at the St. Louis
Fire Department Training Tower, 10:30 a.m., Monday, October 5, 2015 to announce this year’s program.
“We started this campaign last year. Red Cross volunteers, partnering with local fire departments, installed 1,594 smoke alarms in our region,” Erickson said. “We know this effort will save lives.”
Since relaunching the hotline this October, more than 750 households have requested smoke alarms. With this overwhelming response, we need volunteers to help install alarms and educate families on fire safety.
Jim McGrath, chair of the 2015 Home Fire Campaign and President of AAA Missouri encouraged the community to get involved. “This is a great program for our community,” he said. “We are excited to work with our fire departments and encourage anyone who wants to save lives to join this campaign.”
The Red Cross of Eastern Missouri responds to three home fires a day. Sadly those statistics have remained constant for decades. The biggest disaster threat to families in this country isn’t floods or tornadoes, it’s fire.
The Red Cross asks every family to
• Install smoke alarms. A working smoke alarm reduces the chance of death in a fire by 50 percent.
• Create an escape plan with two routes from every room.
• Practice that plan at least twice a year.
Families in the Greater St. Louis Area who need smoke alarms and cannot afford them – or cannot install them – should call the American Red Cross at 314.516.2797 to make an appointment for FREE alarm installation.
When residents call, they will be asked to leave their name, contact information and the best time to be reached. A local volunteer will return their call and set up an appointment to come to their home, check to see if they need new smoke alarms, install alarms or replace batteries. Volunteers also will help residents create their home fire escape plan.
This year, partnering with fire departments, the Red Cross plans to install 4,000 free smoke alarms. Since launching the campaign nationally last year, the Red Cross has installed smoke alarms and educated families in 63,000 households. The effort has already saved 26 lives.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.