Written by: Morgan Terry, volunteer
The American Red Cross is coming in hot with their home fire safety campaign called Sound the Alarm. The goal of this program is to install 100,000 free smoke alarms, reach 40,000 households, and rally 35,000 volunteers across the country in high risk neighborhoods, culminating in the installation of the one millionth smoke alarm!
Starting in 2014, the overarching Home Fire Campaign was launched to help save lives and lessen the number of tragedies attributed to home fires. Sadly in 2016, for example, Maryland had over 2,000 residential and nonresidential fires with approximately 55 fatalities in that year alone. Furthermore, Washington DC had the most fatalities per million population in the United States. That’s why local Sound the Alarm events are taking place across Prince George’s, Fairfax, Montgomery and Loudoun County, Washington DC, Arlington and Alexandria.
How can you get involved?
PLAN. You may only have two minutes to escape when a fire occurs, but most people mistakenly believe they have more than twice as long to get out. Get started by learning all possible exit routes from your home and practice the escape plan twice a year. Also, test smoke alarms every month. If they’re not working, change the batteries or replace the alarm.
VOLUNTEER. Join us at events taking place across the National Capital Region this fall, where we will install at least 1,850 smoke alarms. Our group will be walking door-to-door to educate our community about fire safety. The two largest signature events are:
- September 23: Prince George’s County, MD – Oxon Hill, Bladensburg, and Mount Rainier
- October 7: Washington, DC – Brightwood Park area
LEARN. For more information about supporting the Red Cross through volunteering, fundraising, or to receive more information, visit www.SoundTheAlarm.org