January 24, 2018 – Every 8 minutes in the United States, someone is affected by disaster, usually a home fire.  Home fires kill more people than all natural disasters combined.  In fact, 7 people die in home fires every day, mostly in homes that do not have working fire alarms.  A person only has 2 minutes to exit a burning home, so it is vital to have working smoke detectors on each floor of the home.  Working smoke alarms double the chances of surviving a home fire, and an escape plan for the whole family further increases the survival odds.

Sound the Alarm is a national event aiming to install 100,000 smoke alarms in at-risk neighborhoods.  These detectors are free and have 10-year lithium batteries.  In addition, bedside alarms will be available for hard-of-hearing and/or deaf residents in need.  Once the initial home visit is made to install traditional smoke alarms, and the need for a bedside alarm is documented, volunteers will go back to install bedside alarms at a later date.

Since the Home Fire Campaign launched in 2014, volunteers and partners have installed nearly 9,000 smoke alarms and created nearly 3,000 home fire escape plans.  In the Quad Cities and West Central Illinois, 12 lives have been saved through this initiative.

Red Cross of the Quad Cities and West Central Illinois is asking everyone to spread the word about this life-saving program and is seeking volunteers to help install the alarms in Scott and Muscatine Counties, Iowa and Henry, Mercer, and Rock Island Counties, Illinois.  The Red Cross is looking to recruit 450 volunteers, donors, and partners to help with the event.  There will be volunteer station sites in Kewanee, Moline, and Muscatine.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, April 28, 2018, and WQAD will host a telethon to get out the word and schedule 350 appointments.