In January, the American Red Cross North Texas Region and local partners helped make two communities safer from home fires. Volunteers installed smoke alarms in homes during separate Sound the Alarm events in Fort Worth and Denton, Texas, on January 20 and 27, respectively.
Red Cross volunteers, employees and community partners installed 336 smoke alarms, making 121 homes safer from home fires. They installed 137 smoke alarms in 45 Fort Worth homes and 199 alarms in 76 homes in Denton.
“We set up in Fort Worth last week at a church, and we did a ton of installs,” Red Cross Volunteer Disaster Supervisor Mike Barber said. “Personally, my team and I did over 20 installs that day, and it was a lot of word of mouth. There were a lot of people calling their relatives [telling them about the free smoke alarm installations].”
Visit RedCross.org/NTXHMS to register for free smoke alarm installations.
Barber lives in North Arlington and also helped install smoke alarms in Denton the following Saturday. He and Trevor Sheeley, a Red Cross volunteer disaster responder from Richardson, installed alarms and canvased homes, distributing flyers in Southeast Denton and the Freedmen Town neighborhoods.
“The thing I really like about Sound the Alarm events is you're going to spend the day helping people,” Sheeley said. “We're not waiting to be on call. We're out actively going door to door. Many of the folks that we touch have explicitly asked for us to come by and install smoke alarms.
“It's also really cool. We get out here, we stop by one house to help a family, and they point us toward their neighbors who also need help. So, it's a really satisfying way to spend a Saturday and just good for the soul.”
Sound the Alarm events are part of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign. The campaign is a national effort to help make homes safer from home fires, the nation’s most frequent disaster. Since launching the campaign in 2014, the Red Cross has helped save more than 2,000 lives nationwide and at least 22 in North Texas by installing free smoke alarms and helping families create escape plans.
“These Sound the Alarm events are my favorite way to contribute because, again, you're going to come out, and you're going to help a lot of families in one day,” Sheeley said.