MEMPHIS, Tenn. — The Red Cross is sounding the alarm about fire safety by providing free smoke detectors to families in Memphis.
One by one Memphis Firefighters and Red Cross volunteers knocked on the doors of people living in the Hyde Park Community Saturday.
The goal of the campaign is to teach residents about fire safety while installing a free smoke alarm in their homes.
“Every day, seven lives are lost because of home fires, but a working smoke detector can cut that risk in half,” said Red Cross Mid-South Executive Director Sarah Breazeale.
This is all a part of the Red Cross Sound the Alarm event.
The Mid-South chapter teams up with the Memphis Fire Department to share vital fire safety information in various neighborhoods each year.
Volunteers gathered at St. Theresa The Little Flower Catholic Church to kick off the event.
“A lot of the homes in this area are very old. The wiring is very old. So perhaps things that modern homes would have as safety features, these older homes do not have. So, it’s important to be more prepared for fire safety,” said Father Yoelvis Gonzalez.
Memphis Fire Chief Gina Sweat says the Hyde Park neighborhood was chosen based on need and how often they respond to fires in the area.
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“A working smoke alarm is the one thing that has proven to save lives,” said sweat.
She says improper use of electric cords and leaving food unattended while cooking are some of the reasons behind house fires. Sweat also says fire calls increase as the temperatures drop and people start to look for alternative ways to stay warm.
“It gives the people in your home an early notification that there’s an emergency going on. If it’s small, maybe it’s something they can mitigate but it also gives them time to escape if it’s a larger fire,” said Sweat.