Volunteers with the American Red Cross and Fargo Fire Deparment spent an afternoon working to provide and install smoke alarms in a trailer park in north Fargo, ND. During a typical year, manufactured homes account for 17,700 fires, hundreds of deaths and $155 million in property losses. Manufactured homes have a fire death rate per 100,000 housing units 32-50 percent higher than the rate for other dwellings according to the Fire Safety Foundation.
After canvassing 166 mobile homes, 125 smoke alarms were installed to alert residents in the Countryside Trailer Park if smoke or fire is present. Data from the National Fire Protection Agency Association recently found that 51 percent of fires in manufactured homes were reported as having no smoke alarms present.
"The first home we stopped into had three small children and no smoke alarms in the home," said Fargo Fire Marshall, Ryan Erickson. "Getting some of the older mobile homes up to code is critical to ensure safety."
The Red Cross has partnered with the Fargo Fire Department to install over 350 smoke alarms on the community this fall alone.
"We have seen a great response from residents in the homes we have been in," said Red Cross Disaster Program Manager, Sean Coffman. "Meeting citizens face-to-face and educating them has had a profound impact."
The Red Cross launched a national home fire preparedness campaign this fall with the goal of cutting of home fire deaths by 25%. More information can be found at redcross.org.