Reps. Frank Farry (R-Bucks) and Jennifer O’Mara (D-Delaware) announced a $60,000 grant to the American Red Cross in support of the Home Fire Campaign, specifically to provide smoke alarms for the initiative “Sound the Alarm. Save a Life.” The grant is being awarded through a Keystone Communities program with the Department of Community and Economic Development.
Launched in 2014, “Sound the Alarm. Save a Life.” aims to reduce home fire deaths and injuries. These smoke alarm installations, carried out by the Red Cross and community partners, have resulted in more than 100,000 free smoke alarms being installed in Pennsylvania homes.
With a priority on protecting the safety and wellbeing of all since the onset of COVID-19, “Sound the Alarm” events, as well as in-person home fire safety and preparedness presentations, have been postponed. However, the Red Cross has partnered with organizations currently providing in-home services, such as fire departments, home weatherization and visiting rehabilitation programs. While in the home delivering these services, partner organizations will also install smoke alarms.
“As a volunteer firefighter, I understand the importance of not only providing people with the tools necessary to keep them safe, but ensuring we educate our communities on the vital significance of the early warnings of dangers provided by smoke alarms,” Farry said. “Injuries caused by fires are preventable with the right tools, and I am thankful the grant will provide the Red Cross with the extra funds to distribute alarms which will in turn reduce injuries, save lives and reduce property damage.”
When it is safe to resume “Sound the Alarm” in 2021, the Red Cross and partners will return to communities across the commonwealth to install smoke alarms, help families to develop home fire escape plans, and learn about fire safety.
The Red Cross anticipates expanding partnerships with fire departments nationally to provide smoke alarm installations by appointment by spring 2021.
“Ensuring that everyone has a smoke alarm in their home is a simple, yet effective measure to minimize injuries or deaths caused by home fires. It’s particularly helpful to seniors and homebound individuals, who may depend on programs like ‘Sound the Alarm. Save a Life.’ to install their smoke alarms,” said O’Mara. “My office frequently receives calls from people looking for help putting these in their homes, so I sincerely thank the Department of Community and Economic Development for granting the Red Cross this funding. By distributing hundreds of thousands of smoke alarms to residents throughout the commonwealth, this program has the potential to save countless lives.”