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Red Cross to Re-Launch Sound the Alarm Events to Help Reduce Home Fire Deaths, Injuries


For Immediate Release


Joy Squier | Chief Communications Officer

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

Red Cross to Re-Launch Sound the Alarm Events to Help Reduce Home Fire Deaths, Injuries

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.

(CHICAGO, IL) March 27, 2018 – The American Red Cross is asking everyone to help Sound the Alarm. Save a Life. in Chicago and northern Illinois and be part of the nationwide Red Cross effort to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires. This campaign is moving forward after being postponed last summer so the Red Cross could focus on hurricane disaster relief. 


Join us for the kickoff event press conference on Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. at Hamilton Park, 513 W. 72nd Street in Englewood. Red Cross CEO Celena Roldán, Chicago Fire Commissioner José Santiago, Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) Executive Director Alicia Tate-Nadeau, Alderman Roderick Sawyer (6th) and others will be speaking and available for interviews following the event. David Eigenberg, star of NBC’s “Chicago Fire” and current Chicago resident will also be featured at the event. Red Cross interviews will also be available in Spanish.


The American Red Cross is partnering with the Chicago Fire Department and OEMC to install life-saving smoke alarms in high-risk neighborhoods. Two thousand free smoke alarms will be installed over the course of four weeks across northern Illinois. The Red Cross is issuing a call for volunteers to help with the upcoming installation events. Visit to apply to be a volunteer.


Following the April 28 kickoff event, Red Cross volunteer teams will continue free installations in the neighborhood with 10-year lithium battery powered smoke alarms.   

There will be additional Sound the Alarm installation events in Chicago neighborhoods and across the northern Illinois region including: 

Date Location

April 28 Englewood

April 28 DeKalb

May 5 Schaumburg

May 5 Ottawa

May 5 Streator

May 5 Naplate

May 12 North Chicago

May 12 Rockford

May 19 Auburn Gresham

May 19 Joliet


“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.”


Nationwide, the Red Cross will Sound the Alarm through a series of smoke alarm installation and fire safety events in more than 100-high-risk communities. From April 28 through May 19, local Red Cross volunteers and partners will install free smoke alarms as part of 100,000 alarms installed across the country. These events are related to the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, which since 2014 has helped save lives through smoke alarm installations and home fire safety education in thousands of communities.


The Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters a year, the majority of which are home fires. Home fires represent a significant threat to our communities, which is why the Red Cross launched the nationwide Home Fire Campaign and rallied an army of volunteers, donors, and partners to canvass high-risk neighborhoods, install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms and help families create escape plans. 


SIMPLE STEPS TO SAVE LIVES Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. The Red Cross is calling on everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: create and practice their home fire escape plan and check their smoke alarms. Other safety steps include:


• If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Local building codes vary and there may be additional requirements where someone lives.

• If someone does have alarms, test them today. If they don’t work, replace them.

• Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.

• Practice that plan. 


Join this Red Cross effort today by volunteering to install smoke alarms in your community, m