Columbus Red Cross installs hundreds of smoke detectors in the community

American Red Cross installs smoke detectors

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Members of our local Red Cross went door to door installing more than 300 Free smoke detectors in homes across the Valley.

Volunteers with the American Red Cross of West Central Georgia went door to door on Saturday May 2 as a part of the home fire preparedness campaign.

Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a home fire and countless others suffer injuries. To combat these tragic statistics, the Red Cross has launched a nationwide campaign to reduce the number of deaths and injuries due to home fires by 25 percent.

Their goal is to teach people what to do if their home catches fire and how to install smoke alarms where they are needed.

"Over the next 5 years, Red Cross is starting a home fire campaign to reduce the deaths by 25 percent over the next five years. So across the country, all Red Cross offices are in the process of instituting home fire campaigns," Shawn McCorry said, from the American Red Cross. 

After going out to assess the needs of the community on Saturday May 9 they returned to the neighborhoods to install smoke alarms in homes that need them and teach people about what to do in case a fire breaks out in their home.

"Installing smoke alarms cuts the risk of someone dying from a home fire in half, so we're joining with groups form across our community to install smoke alarms," Adelaide Kirk said, Executive Director of American Red Cross of West Central Georgia.

The Red Cross is asking everyone to check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home in order to save lives.

"Today we're visiting a little over two hundred homes. We'll be installing free smoke detectors and then we're also doing a little bit of education. We're helping them go through some of the things they need to know about being fire prepared ready not just home fires but also for tornadoes. So we will be doing it again in the future and it does take a lot of volunteer power, so we will be making calls for volunteers in the future," Kirk said.

Here are a few tips for families to increase their chances of surviving a fire:

  • Install a smoke alarm on every level of the home. Local building codes vary and there may be additional requirements where someone lives.
  • If someone does have alarms, test them today. If they don't work, replace them.
  • Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.
  • Practice that plan. What's the household's escape time?

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