By: Jennifer Costa, Regional Communications Director
On April 1, American Red Cross of Northern New England volunteers and staffers alongside the Camden, Rockport and Rockland Fire Departments installed 168 free smoke alarms for families during a Sound the Alarm home fire safety event throughout Camden, Rockport and Rockland.
“We are grateful to everyone who supported today’s Sound the Alarm event to help keep our neighbors safe from home fires,” said Sophie Piconi, Red Cross Central and Mid Coast Maine Chapter executive director. “Home fires are a constant threat in our community, accounting for most of our disaster responses. Today’s efforts will make a lasting difference to help save lives and protect those who are most vulnerable.”
MAKING LOCAL HOMES SAFER
Patsy Towle is among the local residents who received free smoke alarms through today’s Sound the Alarm event, where Red Cross volunteers and members of Camden, Rockport and Rockland Fire Departments also shared information on the causes of home fires, what to do if a fire starts and how to create an escape plan.
Towle signed-up after realizing her own smoke alarms were far past their 10-year expiration date – and not functioning at all due to old batteries. New, working smoke alarms throughout her home are providing much needed peace of mind.
“It makes me much more comfortable. I haven’t been able to change the batteries in the old ones. I am getting older and it’s harder for me to reach up and do things or get on a step ladder. I can now stay in my home longer. I am planning to live to be 100. So now I figure I’m safer,” said Towle, 88, of Camden.
SAVING LIVES FROM NATION’S MOST FREQUENT DISASTER
Home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster, claiming seven lives (mostly children and the elderly) every day across the country – and injuring more than 30. But working smoke alarms can cut that risk of dying in a home fire by half. Here in Maine, the Red Cross responded to 274 home fires in 2022, assisting 948 Mainers. So far this year, the Red Cross has provided critical support to 261 Mainers following 78 home fires – 28 of those fires were in Central and Mid Coast Maine.
This Sound the Alarm event is a critical part of the national Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, which has helped save at least 1,664 lives — including 11 in Maine (8 in Farmingdale and 3 in Old Town) — since launching in October 2014. Locally during this time, the Red Cross of Northern New England and local partners have installed more than 17,703 free smoke alarms and made more than 5,616 households safer across the state.
Visit redcross.org/EndHomeFiresNNE to learn more, sign-up for your free smoke alarm(s) or make a donation to the Red Cross to help people prepare for, respond to and recover from home fires.
This work is made possible thanks to generous financial donations from regional partners.
Support all the urgent humanitarian needs of the American Red Cross.
Find a drive and schedule a blood donation appointment today.
Your time and talent can make a real difference in people’s lives. Discover the role that's right for you and join us today!