Every year The American Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters. The majority of those cases are home fires.
This weekend, the organization is doing it's part locally to ensure smoke is detected early and lives are saved.
Sunday, the Red cross plans on installing at least 50 of these smoke detectors in Salem. They're just asking members of the community to welcome them inside.
Sunday, Salem Fire engines will start but this time Uniforms will be off and this crew won't have to put out flames. They'll be teaming up with the American Red Cross Virginia Region instead to sound the alarm in South Salem.
Walking from door to door, the red cross and firefighters will canvas the neighborhoods on streets like Central Avenue, Bowman and Front Avenue.
They'll be taking steps to make sure smoke detectors are properly installed inside of the homes.
"Unfortunately a lot of people don't have working smoke detectors, or they have them up and the batteries haven't been replaced or the alarms have been there since they moved in," said, Disaster Program Specialist, Kristen Purdue.
Alarms like that date back to 1970. Firefighters discovered it inside of a residents home just weeks ago.
"Her smoke alarm was going off and upon further inspection we found this guy," said CJ Schaffer, Salem Firefighter.
For Salem, Sound the Alarm is a first-time initiative but the Red Cross says it certainly won't be the last for our area.
"We're helping this family our by getting those alarms installed, making sure that they're put in the proper places," said Purdue.
Sunday, Volunteers will install up to three free fire alarms in every home.
For those who don't need detectors just yet, residents are urged to replace their detectors every eight to ten years and change out it's batteries twice a year. Preventative steps that keep both citizens and fire crews safe
"We're a lot safer if we roll up on a fire and the family is already outside, already being alerted without us having to go in and try to find them," said Salem Fire Chief, John Prillaman.
This sound the alarm event is happening in Salem on Sunday but if you don't live in the area they're willing to do installations by appointment throughout the year. If you want information on that, call the Red Cross Virginia Region at 540-987-6355. To get more information about the event, click here.
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