With the Connecticut Home Fire Campaign, the American Red Cross is working to reduce death and injury from home fires by 25% by 2020. “Sound the Alarm. Save A Life.”, a series of home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events in Connecticut and nationwide, is deploying volunteers will install 100,000 free smoke alarms in high risk neighborhoods.
In Connecticut, the initiative has been to 76 cities and towns, replacing nearly 1,000 smoke alarm batteries and installing more than 12,000 smoke alarms. The program has conducted more than 700 in-home visits, making an estimated 4,400 households safer, according to officials.
Norwalk was the center of activity last month, and New Haven is next in line.
Teams make visits to homes sharing fire safety and preparedness information and install smoke alarms in homes as requested. Volunteers help families understand the importance of fire safety and help them develop personalized family escape plans to use in the event a fire breaks out in their home.
The program was in Norwalk in December in conjunction with the City of Norwalk, and will be in New Haven in the spring. A large-scale event is scheduled for New Haven to install 1,000 smoke alarms in and around the city on April 28, 2018.
“Our mission at the American Red Cross is to prevent and alleviate human suffering caused by disasters,” said Mario Bruno, CEO, American Red Cross Connecticut and Rhode Island Region. “Home fires are the biggest disaster threat faced in the U.S. On average, in our region, we respond to about two home fires each day. Our goal is to reach as many homes as we can with this program to help ensure people know what to do and are prepared in the event they experience a home fire. We want people to be safe.”
Nationally, the Red Cross just installed its one millionth smoke alarm last fall. Since October of 2014, the Red Cross has worked with fire departments and community groups across the country as part of a multi-year campaign to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries.
Officials indicate that 60 percent of house fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. The campaign initiative is in direct response to that “dire threat,” with the Red Cross committing to install 2.5 million free smoke alarms in neighborhoods at high risk for fires, and to educate those residents about fire prevention and preparedness.
Officials estimate that as of November 2017 the Red Cross and partners have saved more than 285 lives nationwide as part of the campaign. In Connecticut, individuals can make an appointment by visiting http://www.redcross.org/local/connecticut/home-fire-safety-visit or by calling 877-287-3327 and choosing option 1 on the menu to request a smoke alarm installation.