On a brisk Saturday morning in Fort Worth, American Red Cross volunteers are eagerly filing into the North Side Community Centers to grab a hot beverage before canvassing local neighborhoods, in hopes of finding homes that could benefit from having new lifesaving smoke detectors.
More than 50 volunteers showed up to the Fort Worth Sound the Alarm annual push to make homes safe. The gathering was part of a series of eleven events that took place across the North Texas region to install free smoke detectors and share information in at-risk communities. In addition, the Red Cross helps families prepare for, respond to and recover from home fires.
The volunteers who came out on November 5 consisted mostly of first-timers, like the new Red Cross DFW Metro West Executive Director, Adolph Aguirre. The Sound the Alarm volunteer opportunity gave Aguirre a sense of accomplishment.
“It was an eye-opening experience to see that there are still families without lifesaving smoke detectors in their homes,” said Aguirre. “I unquestionably left the Sound the Alarm event knowing I made a difference in many families' lives by helping educate them about home fires and helping install smoke detectors across the community.”
The event also had some familiar faces in the crowd, like the Signoret family. Carla and Jean Paul (JP) were at the Fort Worth event to not only mentor first-time event volunteers, but to also help facilitate communication between Red Crossers and the predominantly Spanish-speaking North Side families.
The Signoret's are passionate about helping with Sound the Alarm events because they know how significant fire safety is. Carla stated that “through my work with the Red Cross, I have seen the destruction that housefires can cause, and I want to help prevent as many fires as possible. The Red Cross needs all the support they can get to make communities safer, so I encourage people to sign up and participate in future STA events.”
JP agreed with his wife, “This is the second time I participate in a Sound the Alarm event and I’m volunteering today because I like to see how my donated time makes a positive impact in my community. Signing up and volunteering for future Sound the Alarm events is important because every smoke detector that we install, or test makes the community safer.”
As the volunteers installed their last smoke detectors, they called it a day and headed off to enjoy the rest of their beautiful Saturday afternoon. Red Crossers ended up fitting 147 smoke detectors in 54 homes.
This Fort Worth North Side event helped Red Cross make more than 2,400 people safer with the installation of more than 1,800 alarms across North Texas.
In just the past few months here in North Texas, two lives were saved in Amarillo and another two in Tyler from smoke detectors installed by the Red Cross North Texas. If you know of a home that could use a smoke detector, please call 1-800-RED CROSS or click here to sign up.