2 Million+ Free Smoke Alarms Installed to Help Keep Families Safe from Home Fires
WASHINGTON, D.C., JANUARY 16, 2020 — As the country prepares for Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service on January 20, the American Red Cross encourages people to volunteer through its Home Fire Campaign.
Through the Home Fire Campaign’s year-round Sound the Alarm events, volunteers and community partners spend a day going door-to-door to install free smoke alarms, share fire safety information and help families create escape plans at homes in at-risk communities. Since launching more than five years ago, the campaign has installed more than 2 million free smoke alarms and saved nearly 700 lives nationwide. Visit redcross.org/homefires or contact your local chapter to learn how to get involved.
“Seven lives are lost to home fires each and every day, but we know that a working smoke alarm can cut the odds of that tragedy by half,” said Trevor Riggen, senior vice president of American Red Cross Disaster Cycle Services. “We need your help to ensure the safety of families at risk in your community. Please join us, alongside fellow volunteers and local partners, to help install free smoke alarms, make a difference and save lives.”
‘THAT SMOKE ALARM SAVED OUR LIFE’ Last September, the McCullough family was sound asleep when a fire in a vacant trailer spread to their home. The spreading smoke set off their smoke alarm and awaking Doreen McCullough’s 12-year-old daughter, who alerted her family to quickly escape as flames started to envelop the home. “All I could see was this big orange ball of fire, I mean it was huge,” Doreen said. “I froze, I think I was in shock.”
Just months before the fire, Red Cross volunteers had visited the family’s home to install multiple smoke alarms, which Doreen and her family credit with saving their lives and giving them enough time to escape. “The smoke alarm upstairs is what saved us, because if it wasn’t for that smoke alarm, we wouldn’t be sitting here right now,” Doreen said. “That smoke alarm saved our life.”
Watch the McCullough family share their story in this video: https://vimeo.com/383370320/2dabfb4579
OTHER WAYS TO HELP As the country honors the life of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with a national day of service, there are many other ways too to help people in need through the Red Cross:
- Volunteer Locally: Contact your local chapter via redcross.org/volunteer for volunteer opportunities, which may include roles like helping families recover from home fires on a local Disaster Action Team, teaching children how to prepare for disasters, greeting volunteer blood donors at blood drives or delivering lifesaving blood to local hospitals, depending on local chapter needs.
- Give Blood: January is National Blood Donor Month, a time to celebrate the generosity of blood and platelet donors. Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs blood. Eligible individuals are encouraged to schedule an appointment to give blood or platelets at RedCrossBlood.org.
- Make a Financial Donation: Make a financial donation to support the lifesaving Red Cross mission by visiting redcross.org.