Old Town residents can sign up for free smoke alarms

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Residents still have the opportunity to sign up for free smoke alarm installations through a partnership of the American Red Cross of Maine and the Old Town Fire Rescue Department.

Arrange an appointment for a home fire safety visit and free smoke alarms by calling the Red Cross at 874-1192, extension 113. The Red Cross, the Old Town Fire Rescue Department and community volunteers will follow-up with the installation on Saturday, July 22.

“Working smoke alarms are key to escaping a home fire safely. That early warning, along with a practiced escape plan to a designated meeting area and early notification to emergency services can greatly reduce death and injuries,” said Capt. David Daniels of the Old Town Fire Rescue Department. “Smoke alarms are easy to install and easy to maintain. The technology available today has reduced the ‘nuisance alarms’ of the past. We want to install as many smoke alarms and talk to as many residents about fire safety as we can because the people of our community are very important to us.”

The effort is a part of an ambitious national campaign launched by the Red Cross to cut home fire deaths and injuries by a quarter by 2020. Working smoke alarms reduce the risk of death in a home fire by half and having an escape plan further improves the odds.

“The Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters across the country every year – and the vast majority are home fires,” said Kristen Simas, the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign lead for the Northern and Eastern Maine chapter. “When a home fire strikes, you may have as little as two minutes to get out safely. Having smoke alarms and an escape plan can make all the difference.”

Since its launch in October 2014, the national campaign has installed more than 744,000 free smoke alarms and has helped families create more than 263,000 escape plans. The campaign has saved at least 235 lives.

Here in Maine, the Red Cross and its partners have installed more than 8,000 free smoke alarms, making more than 2,000 families safer since the start of the campaign.