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Red Cross Needs 1,000s of Volunteers to Help Install 100,000 Free Smoke Alarms and Save Lives

First Annual Sound the Alarm Event to be Held Between April 28 and May 13

Turn Clocks Ahead and Test Smoke Alarms for Daylight Saving Time this Weekend

Washington, D.C., March 9, 2018 — The American Red Cross is calling for thousands of volunteers to Sound the Alarm against home fires across the country and help install 100,000 free smoke alarms in just 16 days in communities which have a high risk for fires.

The Red Cross also reminds everyone that Daylight Saving Time begins at 2:00 a.m. this Sunday, and that they should TURN their clocks ahead an hour and TEST the batteries in their smoke alarms.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters every year, most of which are home fires. So far this year, Red Cross volunteers have responded to more than 12,500 home fires, and tragically, in some of these cases, lives have been lost. Having smoke alarms in a home cuts the risk of death from a fire in half.

Dedicated volunteers like Chuck have been installing smoke alarms to help make their communities safer. When Chuck’s daughter, Larissa, moved into a new home with her husband, Steve, and their two children, Chuck insisted on installing smoke alarms to make sure his grandchildren were safe. Little did they know these smoke alarms would save Larissa and Steve’s lives when they alerted them to a fire in their basement less than two months ago. Hear how this Red Cross volunteer saved his daughter’s life by installing smoke alarms:


The Red Cross and its partners will be out in communities between April 28 and May 13 to install 100,000 free smoke alarms. You can help by visiting and volunteering or making a financial donation. Find events in your local community where you can help or learn how your donation will help educate families on fire safety; install free smoke alarms in high-risk neighborhoods nationwide; and provide food, comfort and aid to those who have been affected by a home fire.

“Help us Sound the Alarm against home fire injuries and deaths by volunteering or donating to support our work,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross. “Our Home Fire Campaign is a vitally important initiative that has already resulted in hundreds of lives saved across the country. Please consider joining with the Red Cross to help install 100,000 free smoke alarms between April 28 and May 13.”


Sound the Alarm is part of the ongoing Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, launched in 2014 and already credited with saving 381 lives across the country.

Every day, 7 people in this country die from a home fire; another 36 people are injured, and home fires cause billions of dollars in property damage every year. The multi-year Red Cross Campaign was launched to reduce the number of fire-related deaths and injuries by 25 percent. Red Cross volunteers and partners canvass high-risk neighborhoods to install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms, and help families create escape plans. In addition to helping save lives, the Red Cross and partners have installed more than 1.1 million smoke alarms since the start of the campaign.

Join this Red Cross effort today by volunteering to install smoke alarms in your community, making a financial contribution, or taking steps to protect your own family from home fires. Together, we can Sound the Alarm about fire safety and help save lives.

This work is made possible thanks to generous financial donations from national partners: Almost Family, Delta Air Lines and International Paper. The Red Cross has also received funding from FEMA through the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program.

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 or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.