It’s been all hands on deck (or holding a screwdriver or ladder) for the past few weeks as the American Red Cross “sounded the alarm” across the United States. More than the targeted 100,000 free smoke alarms were installed, thanks to the generosity of Red Cross volunteers and partners.
Every chapter in the Ohio Buckeye Region achieved its goal, according to Emily Hesselbien, regional preparedness manager. According to Emily,
In the Columbus Media Market: 2,163 alarms were installed during April and May and almost 900 households made safer, Both figures are almost one and a half times the goal.
In the Toledo Media Market: 1,748 alarms were installed during the same period, with 635 households made safer. Both figures are also more than 100 % of goals.
In the Ohio Buckeye Region, 3,911 alarms were installed (130% to goal), with 1,478 households made safer (123% to goal)
During the current fiscal year, 10,862 smoke alarms have been installed in the region(102% to goal).
Behind the impressive statistics, there are lives saved: nearly 600 nationally since the Home Fire Campaign launched in 2014. Jackie Sturdivant, who received a free smoke alarm, credits it with saving the lives of her and her three children – and their pet dog – after an electrical fire broke out in their home. The alarm woke her up, and she and her children used their fire escape plan to get out.
Red Cross volunteers who work on a team installing smoke alarms do far more than a simple installation. In addition to installing an alarm good for 10 years, they test and replace batteries and educate homeowners about fire safety. For example:
- Do you test your smoke alarm at least once a month?
- Do you have a fire escape plan?
- Can everyone in your household get out in under two minutes?
- Did you know that plugging an electrical cord directly into an outlet is safer than using an extension cord?
- Are the flammable materials in your home – including flammable liquids – at least three feet away from a heat source?
- Is your fireplace clean and well-maintained?
These tips and others might just save your life – or the life of someone you love.