The American Red Cross East Texas Chapter recently celebrated the installation of 50,000 free smoke alarms in the North Texas Region at the home of Joe and Merline Cash on Moore Avenue in Tyler, Texas, on October 7. The event also served as a kickoff for the annual Sound the Alarm events throughout the chapter. Following remarks from Red Cross and local officials, Red Cross and partner volunteers canvased the neighborhood, encouraging people to sign up for free smoke alarms.
“Sound the Alarm is such a critical initiative to help protect families against home fires,” said Red Cross East Texas Chapter Executive Director Karen Holt. “In 2022, Red Cross volunteers responded to nearly 60 home fires in Smith County. More than 40 of those were right here in Tyler. Home fires claim seven lives every day in the U.S., but having working smoke alarms can cut the risk of death by half.”
Joining Holt and the Red Crossers in attendance were Smith County Precinct 4 Commissioner Ralph Caraway Sr., Tyler Mayor Donald P. Warren and Tyler City Council Member Shirley McKellar. As part of his remarks during the event, Mayor Warren read a proclamation from the City of Tyler announcing October 7 as American Red Cross Sound the Alarm Day.
“I, Donald P. Warren, Mayor of Tyler, proclaim Saturday, October 7, 2023, as American Red Cross Sound the Alarm Day and encourage all citizens to support this endeavor, not only for this month but throughout the year,” Warren said.
On Saturday, October 28, dozens of Red Cross volunteers visited homes in Tyler to install smoke alarms. During their visits with residents, volunteers and firefighters shared information on the causes of home fires, how to prevent them, what to do if a fire starts and how to create an escape plan.
Local Sound the Alarm events, like in Tyler, are a critical part of the national Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, which has helped save at least 1,928 lives since launching in October 2014, including two in Tyler. Red Cross volunteers and local partners have installed more than 4,275 smoke alarms, making more than 1,960 households safer in the East Texas Chapter.
Since the inception of the Home Fire Campaign, smoke alarm installations by Red Cross volunteers in the North Texas Region have helped save at least 22 lives — two in Amarillo, two in Corsicana, one in Denison, four in Longview, four in Lubbock, one in McKinney, two in Mineral Wells, four in Paris and two in Tyler — and made more than 22,000 households safer across the region.
“The alarms we install here in Tyler will help the Red Cross reach its goal of installing 50,000 free smoke alarms in communities like ours nationwide this year,” Holt said.
Tyler residents who need free smoke alarms can register online at RedCross.org/NTXHomesMadeSafer or call 800-733-2767 to schedule an appointment.