The American Red Cross reports that one in 10 people aren’t prepared with smoke alarm systems in their homes. WRBL News 3 tagged along with a couple of red cross volunteers this weekend who are working to change that.
“It surprised me how many people actually didn’t have one and how many homes burned down.”
Red cross volunteers went into neighborhoods this afternoon alerting people of fire safety tips and offering to install up to three free smoke alarms.
“The most common disaster that the Red Cross responds to is actually a home fire. We respond to about 64,000 of those across the country and Georgia actually has one of the highest incidents of residential home fires of anywhere in the country,” Kirk said.
WRBL News 3 joined a couple of the volunteers as we road through a neighborhood in East Columbus that Columbus Fire and EMS says is considered a “hot zone,” areas where there are more home fires.
“We go through a fire safety check list with them discussing areas of digress, how they can get out of a burning home, where to meet the family member once you do leave the home if it has caught fire and the time parameters they have to leave,” Ahr said.
American Red Cross says that once you hear the sound alarm go off you have two minutes to get out of your home. Ahr says that after 10 years a smoke alarm loses all of its effectiveness.
During the trip many homeowners said they were not sure when their smoke alarms were installed. In that case, the Red Cross replaced their smoke alarms with alarms that have 10 year lithium batteries.
“So we try to locate them in certain areas in the home by bedrooms outside of kitchen areas and other living areas to where if a fire does break out they’ll be effective, but they won’t be giving off false alarms that having it over the stove and the kitchen might do,” Ahr said.
If no one was home the volunteers left messages on their doors with instructions on how to schedule an appointment for them to come back.
American Red Cross says that seven people die a day from home fires. The organization says they do projects like this to decrease that number.
If you would like to schedule an appointment with the red cross to install smoke alarms in your home click here.