Connecticut

Red Cross "Sound the Alarm" campaign to install free smoke alarms in homes

FARMINGTON, Conn. (WTNH) - The American Red Cross is gearing up for a big campaign aimed at saving lives. They want to make sure every family has working smoke alarms in their home. 

Linda Wright knows the damage a fire can cause. She lived through one when she was 15 years old. 

"I lived in an old farm house with my family, my parents, and smoke alarms did save us," Wright tells News 8. 

All these years later she's having new alarms installed inside her home in West Hartford. The alarms are being installed by the Red Cross. Something they do year round for free. The alarms and installation are completely free. A major emphasis is put on the service the end of April through the middle of May. 

"If we can prevent one death from a house fire, then it's worth all this effort across the country," said Larry Berman.

Berman is the Home Fire Campaign coordinator for the Red Cross. He and his team do the installs. Berman says he often goes into homes without any alarms or the alarms that are there already are getting old and may not be as effective. 

The rule of thumb is that you only have two minutes to escape a house fire. If you have a smoke alarm that's really old, the sensors may not be working properly. That means there could be a 30 or 60 second delay with it going off. 

On Saturday, April 27th Sound the Alarm will kick off in New Haven and the surrounding area. Smoke alarms will be installed and basic fire safety information will be provided to families as well. 

"We're going to install more than a thousand alarms for probably 300 or 400 families in one day," said Berman. 

The Red Cross is asking people to register ahead of time for an install or if you'd like to volunteer with the installations. The smoke alarms they use are good for 10 years and the battery lasts that long as well. 

If you would like to register for a free install, go to www.redcross.org/ct/schedule-a-visit


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