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American Red Cross Will “Sound the Alarm” to Save Lives

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For Immediate Release



Joy Squier | Chief Communications Officer

312.729.6204 (w) | 312.384.0454 (c) 312.907.0520 (24/7 Media Line)


American Red Cross Will “Sound the Alarm” to Save Lives

The Chicago & Northern Illinois Red Cross is looking for volunteers to help install 2,000 free smoke alarms as part of a national target of 100,000 in just three weeks.

(CHICAGO, IL) August 9, 2017 — The American Red Cross has launched the “Sound the Alarm. Save a Life” campaign to install 100,000 free smoke alarms in cities across the country. Two thousand alarms will be installed in the Chicagoland area by volunteers over the course of three weeks. It is part of a national goal to help save lives and lessen the number of tragedies attributed to home fires.


The Chicago Red Cross is partnering with the Chicago Fire Department and the Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) to install these lifesaving smoke alarms in high-risk neighborhoods. The Red Cross is issuing a call for volunteers to come onboard and help with the upcoming installation events. Visit to apply to be a volunteer.


The Sound the Alarm events are part of a nationwide series of home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events to be held in September and October, culminating in the Red Cross’ installation of the one-millionth free smoke alarm since its Home Fire Campaign launched in 2014.


“Every day across the nation seven people die while 36 others are injured as a result of a home fire,” said Celena Roldán, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. “Sadly, most of these tragedies occur in homes without working smoke alarms. The Red Cross along with our community and corporate partners are aiming to diminish that number and provide life-saving fire safety education to people and families in our communities.”


“As Chicago Fire Commissioner, I applaud the efforts of the Red Cross to install free, life-saving smoke alarms and to provide fire safety education to communities in need,” said José Santiago, Commissioner of the Chicago Fire Department. 


“The City of Chicago is pleased to support the Red Cross in the Sound the Alarm campaign.  Efforts to educate residents on fire safety and escape coupled with free smoke alarm installations in communities can save lives,” said Alicia Tate-Nadeau, OEMC Executive Director. “We also encourage residents to have an emergency exit plan and be sure all family members are prepared for potential emergencies, including fires.”


Sound the Alarm seeks not only to install smoke alarms, but increase awareness about fire safety as well. With the national goal of smoke alarm installations at 100,000, the Red Cross is gathering as many volunteers as possible to help with the citywide installations. Sound the Alarm is a part of the American Red Cross’ broader Home Fire Campaign, with a goal to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries by 25 percent by the year 2020.


Since 2014, the Red Cross’s Home Fire campaign has made a large impact, with 886,823 smoke alarms installed, 258 lives saved, and 368,012 houses made safer with new smoke alarms.


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.  The Chicago and Northern Illinois Red Cross is proud to have several corporate organizations supporting the Sound the Alarm program including:  Grainger, the Motorola Solutions Foundation, Bank of America Chicago, CNA and Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois.



Be a ‘Sound the Alarm. Save a Life.’ Volunteer:


Volunteers carry out 90% of the humanitarian work of the Red Cross. Our vital work is only possible because of the generosity of volunteers who devote their time and energy. The Red Cross is in need of volunteers for the Sound the Alarm program.  No experience is necessary. We need volunteers who are willing to make this life-saving campaign a group activity. To become a Sound the Alarm volunteer and help with this important mission, visit to sign up.


Sound the Alarm smoke alarm installation events are scheduled for the following dates:



- 9/23 Auburn Gresham

Press Conference – Sound the Alarm Campaign Kickoff – 9:00 a.m. Followed by neighborhood smoke alarm installation

St. Sabina Employment Resource Center 7825 S. Racine Avenue, Chicago

- 9/23 Belmont Cragin

Neighborhood smoke alarm installation

Northwest Middle School – 5252 W. Palmer Street,  Chicago

- 9/23 Schaumburg

Fire Station 51- Neighborhood smoke alarm installation

950 W Schaumburg Road, Schaumburg

- 10/7 Rockford

Red Cross Chapter - Neighborhood smoke alarm installation

Rockford Red Cross

727 N. Church Street, Rockford

-10/14 North Lawndale

Neighborhood smoke alarm installation

North Lawndale Christian Health Center

3860 Ogden Avenue, Chicago

-10/14 DeKalb/Sycamore

Neighborhood smoke alarm installation

Sycamore Public Library  103 E. State Street, Sycamore

- 10/14 Streator

Neighborhood smoke alarm installation

Streator Fire Department

108 N. Wasson Street, Streator

-10/14 Ottawa

Neighborhood smoke alarm installation

Ottawa Fire Station  301 W. Lafayette Street, Ottawa

-10/14 Grand Ridge

Neighborhood smoke alarm installation

Grand Ridge Fire Department  5 E. Main Street,  Grand Ridge

-10/14 Lostant

Neighborhood smoke alarm installation

Lostant Fire Department, 101 E 1st St., Lostant


Donate to help Sound the Alarm. Save a Life.

Visit to help families prepare, respond and recover from home fires. 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.


About the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois:


The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois serves 9.5 million people in 21 counties including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago. 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 us at or visit us on Twitter @ChicagoRedCross.