Red Cross installing free smoke alarms in NJ homes
The American Red Cross is asking everyone to be a part of its nationwide effort to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries from home fires.
So on Saturday, April 28, and Sunday, April 29, the Red Cross New Jersey region will be holding Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events in Trenton, Jersey City and Camden.
Red Cross spokeswoman Diane Concannon says volunteers, firefighters and community partners will canvass neighborhoods to instal free smoke detectors and teach families about fire safety.
Last year, the American Red Cross responded to more than 820 home fires in New Jersey and assisted nearly 1,900 families.
"Nationwide, we are looking to install more than 100,000 free smoke alarms and in New Jersey we are looking to install at least 3,000, but we are looking for more," says Concannon.
She says nationwide, there's been more than 1.1 million free smoker alarms installed and the millionth one was installed in Asbury Park in November.
Since the launch of the campaign in October 2014, the Red Cross has installed more than 27,000 free smoke alarms in New Jersey.
"In New Jersey, we have saved 18 lives — 18 lives saved have been credited to the home fire campaign," says Concannon.
In 2015 in Orange, the American Red Cross installed free smoke alarms in a multi-family home. A year and a half later, a fire broke out in the basement of that home. But Concannon says it was that smoke alarm that alerted the families in the morning and all 18 of them escaped safely.
The Red Cross recommends that people check the batteries of their alarms every year and completely replace the alarm every 10 years.
Families should also have a fire escape plan. Concannon says to make sure there are two ways to exit the home. You only have two minutes to get out. Then make sure you have a meeting place outside for everyone in the family.
If you would like to volunteer or access free tools to help protect yourself against home fires, go to www.redcross.org/soundthealarmnj.