RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Once a fire starts in your home, the American Red Cross said you have two minutes to get out. It’s why it has worked to install 75,000 free smoke alarms in homes across North Carolina since 2014.
“We know 34 individuals have had smoke alarms go off after we’ve been there, because we document and trace it,” Regional CEO for the American Red Cross, Barry Porter, said. “And we know when the fire occurs that they’ve gotten out safely because those alarms have gone off.”
The installations are part of the ‘Sound the Alarm’ campaign. Porter said knowing it has had an impact is rewarding.
“One of the things I enjoyed most was hearing from the fire chief in Fayetteville who said with our screwdriver and a 15 dollar alarm, we’ll save more life and property than his million dollar fire truck,” he said.
Additionally, the Red Cross plans to install another 300 smoke alarms at the Kingsborough Estates in Raleigh on May 14. Volunteers will go door-to-door installing smoke alarms, educating people about emergency planning and testing existing alarms. The initiative will run from 9 a.m. until approximately 2 p.m., the Red Cross said in a release.
Porter also said the fire department identified the mobile home park as high risk.
“Here’s an area where we can concentrate and go in and make an impact on a community that perhaps has a lesser opportunity to put a working smoke alarm in their home,” Porter said.
The Red Cross said it will need help to do this work. It’s putting out a call for volunteers and said no experience is necessary. Volunteers will receive training the morning of the event at the American Red Cross Triangle Area Chapter located at 100 N. Peartree Lane in Raleigh.
“You don’t have to be someone who can use a drill or climb a ladder. You can be a documenter or supporter,” Porter said.
People who want to join the ‘Sound the Alarm’ campaign can register here.
If you need a smoke alarm but do not live in the Kingsborough Estates community, you can schedule an appointment for a free smoke alarm installation. To request a smoke alarm, click here or call 919-501-3748.