Hundreds of Volunteers Install Thousands of Smoke Alarms in Three Weeks
Residents in more than 900 homes in Northeast Ohio can sleep more soundly knowing they now have working smoke alarms, installed over a three-week period this spring by volunteers with the American Red Cross and dozens of partners.
Nationwide, more than 103,000 alarms were installed in 43,000 homes during the same three weeks, as part of a Red Cross initiative known as Sound the Alarm. Save a Live. Read more about the national results here.
Locally, nearly 2,500 alarms were installed in neighborhoods of Cleveland, Akron and Maple Heights between April 28 and May 12. About 350 volunteers went door-to-door, installing free smoke alarms, changing batteries in existing alarms, and helping residents create escape plans.
“We have over 20 people here from KeyBank, and we think this is a great cause,” said Don Kimble, Chief Financial Officer at KeyBank and a member of the board of directors for the Red Cross Greater Cleveland Chapter. He volunteered to help during the final Sound the Alarm event in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood on Saturday, May 12. “There aren’t many times you can volunteer and actually help save a life. It really helps out the community.”
More than 400 lives have been saved since the Red Cross began installing alarms nationwide in 2014.
“Anything can happen. You never know what will cause a fire,” said Richard Demming, as volunteers installed new smoke alarms in his second-story home on East 55th Street in Cleveland. “Smoke alarms alert you to get out of the house.”
Another resident of East 55th Street, Stanford Simmons said, “It’s good for the community. Volunteering is important. The fire department can’t do it all.”
The Cleveland Fire Department has been working with the Red Cross to install smoke alarms in homes since 1992. Several firefighters accompanied the volunteers in Slavic Village on Saturday.
Jamie Evans is a human resources employee with Third Federal Savings and Loan, which is headquartered in Slavic Village. He was with a team of volunteers from Third Federal and said, “You could definitely tell people appreciated it. A couple of residents were outside waiting for us. We took out lots of old alarms, people who didn’t have the means to replace them. It’s definitely a good program.”
425 alarms were installed in Slavic Village on Saturday, making 125 homes safer. Click here for more photos from the Sound the Alarm event in Slavic Village.
The day before, dozens of volunteers gathered in East Akron for another Sound the Alarm event. Among them was Murphy Montler, Director of Local External Affairs for FirstEnergy in Ohio and West Virginia. He was heading a team of more than two dozen FirstEnergy workers.
“We have a long-standing partnership with the Red Cross,” Murphy said. “When they’re out dealing with disasters, we’re also dealing with infrastructure issues affecting our customers.” Murphy noted that there has been a recent spate of fire fatalities in Akron, and that FirstEnergy workers volunteered to help the Red Cross make homes in Akron safer.
“This organization is so wonderful,” he said. “It doesn’t operate without volunteers. It’s a mission that people really connect with.”
Greg Sell, a resident of Eva Avenue in Akron, said he didn’t know the Red Cross offered free smoke alarm installations. “Thank God for the Red Cross,” he said. “I’ll be telling everybody. Continue the good work.” Click here for more photos from the May 11th Sound the Alarm event in Akron.
Sound the Alarm events WILL continue, year-round. Residents throughout Northeast Ohio can request a free home fire inspection and free smoke alarms by visiting soundthealarm.org/neo. You can register to become a Red Cross volunteer at redcross.org/neo.
We are grateful for all our partners who helped us Sound the Alarm. Save a Life.
|Akron City Fire Department|
|Buckingham Doolittle & Burroughs|
|Case Western Reserve Students|
|Cleveland Central Catholic|
|Cleveland City Council|
|Cleveland Fire Department|
|First Energy Corporation|
|Franklin Myles State Farm|
|J & M Champions for Change|
|Louis Stokes VA Medical Center|
|Manheim Cleveland-Cox Automotive|
|Maple Heights Fire Department|
|Metro Health System|
|Mount Calvary Lodge|
|Ohio’s Choice Home Health|
|Prince Hall Masons|
|Red Cross Board, & Associate Board (Young Professionals)|
|Red Cross Club- CWRU|
|Robert W Baird|
|Stockyard Connection Block Club Metro West CDO/Stockyard Safety Committee|
|Third Federal Savings & Loan|