American Red Cross distributes smoke detectors, educates homeowners

Posted at 10:31 PM, Jan 31, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-01 00:31:43-05

SALT LAKE CITY – The best way to fight fires is to keep them from happening in the first place. That’s part of the mission for the American Red Cross, and they put that mission into practice this month.

“A lot of people know the Red Cross from responding to major disasters, but most of the time, we go out on small home fires: one family, two families, five families, and it's very devastating to small families when they're pushed out of their homes,” said Stan Rosenzweig of the American Red Cross in Utah.

Recently the Red Cross set out for a world record attempt that could end up saving lives. Across the country and right here in Utah, the American Red Cross, along with volunteers from FedEx and State Farm Insurance, worked together to install as many smoke alarms as possible.

“I think that a lot of people are unaware of the importance of smoke detectors, and some people don't know how often they should check them, or that they need them at all,” said FedEx employee Tyler Findley. “Because of that, going out and spreading the word could potentially save lives down the road.”

As part of "The Home Fire Campaign", teams of volunteers went door to door on Martin Luther King Day, delivering and installing detectors and explaining to homeowners how the devices work.

“If we try to catch it at the cause, when it first happens, and we get people to learn what to do to prevent those fires, everybody is better off,” Rosenzweig said.

The American Red Cross hopes their push for education and to get smoke alarms in homes across the country will lower the number of deaths caused in house fires by 25 percent.

About 200 smoke detectors were installed in Utah, adding to the total of 2,700 that the Red Cross has installed over the past year. For more information about the American Red Cross in Utah and the ways you can help, click here.