Massachusetts volunteer, Mark Holden, likes to tell clients receiving free smoke detectors that he is there to give them a sense of security in their own homes. That’s the goal of the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign: To reduce preventable deaths by 25% by 2020. Along with leading the Disaster Action Team in the Merrimack East section of Northeast Massachusetts, Mark dedicates his time to installing detectors in high risk neighborhoods. The work is highly satisfying, Mark reports that homeowners where he does installations know that he’s there to help them, greeting him with “big smiles all around” and invitations to come on in.
Mark knows first-hand that smoke detectors save lives, because on more than one occasion, they saved his mother’s life. When the Red Cross began to implement the Home Fire Campaign, Mark realized his own mother didn’t have any smoke alarms. “After installing a number of them, they went off three times,” Mark said. “Two of the times her house would have probably burned down if she wasn’t paying attention.” It’s “saves” like the two that prevented tragedy in his own mother’s home that inspire volunteers to push smoke alarms into homes around the Commonwealth. Said Mark, “They saved my mother and I feel better knowing she’s safe at home.”