The American Red Cross of Maine and the Waldoboro Fire Department are teaming up to install free smoke alarms in residents’ homes and help people prepare for home fires. The Red Cross, the fire department, and community volunteers will perform the installations on Saturday, July 22.
Waldoboro residents can make an appointment for free smoke-alarm installation by calling the Red Cross at 874-1192 ext. 113, or going to redcross.org/local/maine/home-fire-safety. People interested in volunteering for the event can use the same phone number and website.
“People may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late,” said Waldoboro Fire Chief Paul Smeltzer. “Working smoke alarms cut the risk of death by half, and an escape plan further improves the odds. We urge members of our community to take advantage of this opportunity, check alarms monthly and practice fire drills so everyone can escape in time. I’m very excited about this opportunity, which has had great success in neighboring communities.”
The event is part of an ambitious national campaign launched by the Red Cross to reduce home fire deaths and injuries by a quarter by 2020.
The second smoke-alarm installation event will take place in Boothbay and Boothbay Harbor on Saturday, Aug. 26, and the third will be in Wiscasset on Saturday, Sept. 23.
“The Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters every year across the country and the vast majority are home fires,” said Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Larry French. “Home fires kill an average of seven people a day in the United States – more than all other natural disasters combined. We are reaching out in Maine communities to end these tragedies and save lives.”
This home fire-safety and smoke-alarm installation event provides a number of ways to get involved.
“This is a wonderful opportunity for Waldoboro residents to make sure they and their neighbors are safer,” said Waldoboro Town Manager Julie Keizer. “Sign up to have a team visit your home, spread the word or join the volunteers who will canvass neighborhoods to set up appointments, install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms, and help neighbors create escape plans. Your participation can have a great impact in our town.”
Since its launch in October 2014, the national campaign has saved at least 258 lives and installed more than 888,823 free smoke alarms. Here in Maine, the Red Cross and its partners have installed more than 8,000 free smoke alarms, making more than 2,000 families safer since the start of the campaign.