Akron Fire Fatalities Highlight the Need for Smoke Alarms

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A smoke alarm being installed in an Akron home/Photo credit: Gwen Bochmann/ Red Cross Volunteer

Two people died in Akron early Monday morning in a fire on Fultz Street, and firefighters say there were no working smoke alarms in the home.

The Red Cross and the Akron Fire Department earlier this month announced an initiative meant to prevent home fire fatalities, by offering Akron residents free smoke alarms.  Firefighters will install the alarms, and provide residents valuable fire safety information, including how to develop a fire escape plan.

“We are proud to partner with the city to promote this initiative,” said Rachel D’Attoma, Executive Director of the Summit, Portage, and Medina Counties Chapter. “A recent Red Cross study found that many people think that you have up to 10 minutes to exit a burning home. It is closer to two minutes. Smoke alarms can help save lives.”

“The importance of having smoke detectors in all of our residents’ homes is vital to safety,” said City of Akron Mayor Dan Horrigan.  The Mayor will assist with this initiative by installing a smoke alarm in the home of an Akron family this week.

“Our goal is to save lives in our community,” said Chief Edward Hiltbrand of the Akron Fire Department. “We must respond by making our residents safer, especially in susceptible communities.”

Akron residents are encouraged to call the Red Cross smoke alarm hotline at 330-535-2030 to make an appointment for a free home fire safety inspection, free smoke alarms, and free installation.

Residents throughout Northeast Ohio can obtain more information about Operation Save-A-Life, the Red Cross fire preparedness campaign, at redcross.org/neoosal.

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