Every night in the Eastern North Carolina Region of the Red Cross, about five house fires occur, leaving families helpless, confused and alone.
Nearly 300 Red Cross volunteers gathered in Fayetteville in September to install free smoke alarms in homes of military members and their neighbors. The effort is part of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign – an initiative that aims to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent in five years. To date, the campaign has saved 111 lives across the country.
“Brave men and woman of our military work every day to make sure we are safe in our homes,” said Barry Porter, CEO of the Red Cross in Eastern N.C. “We want to return the favor and protect them in their own homes with new smoke alarms.”
Four Red Cross volunteers visited the home of Cory Hall, an active-duty military member and former firefighter. The team installed four smoke alarms and tested his existing alarms. Because of the newly installed alarms, Hall said he feels confident his family is safe in their home should a fire start.
Hall’s neighborhood also welcomed Red Cross teams. Timothy Smith and his family received four alarms. He let out a sigh of relief as they were installed.
“We don’t have smoke alarms in our home, and I know that we need them,” Smith said. “I want them installed for my kids. My kids’ safety is the most important thing to me.”
The event was made possible by sponsors: Nationwide-Sean Fincher and Nationwide-Mike Warren; Merrill Lynch, Wright Cobb Tilghman Group; Healy Wholesale Co.. Inc.; and Fayetteville Technical Community College. A big thank you also to the Dept. of Defense, JROTC, Wounded Warrior Project, Army DC 325th Air, 82nd Division 189 BN 249th, Fort Bragg Fire Dept., and the US Army.
For more information about smoke alarm installations or how to create a home fire escape plan, visit redcross.org/fire.
To see video footage from the smoke alarm installation event, visit: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tt0e8RyTedE&feature=youtu.be
Story by Emma Kirkpatrick.
Photos by Adam Jennings.