American Red Cross in CT hands out free smoke alarms

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — The American Red Cross in Connecticut will be handing out free smoke alarms Monday.

Officials say it is a part of the organization’s home fire campaign. They say the campaign is designed to cut down on the number of house fire deaths and injuries.

“Our job today is to meet as many families as we can, install free smoke alarms if they’re needed, replace batteries, prepare the family. Whatever we need to do to hopefully save some lives,” said Mario Bruno, CEO of the American Red Cross of Connecticut and Rhode Island.

The Red Cross says they will also install the smoke alarms for free to families who would like it. More than 50 volunteers were joining in the efforts. New Haven Fire Chief John Alston praises the program, saying cities like New Have pose fire risks not seen in other areas.

“We see a lot of fires, fast moving fires, in the City of New Haven because we’re so close together. A lot of wooden structures and the high wind is a problem,” said Chief Alston.

The Red Cross hopes to hand out 500 smoke alarms, predominantly in the Newhalville section of the city. They estimate that for every 1000 alarms installed, one life will be saved.

Chief Alston says when an alarm goes off residents typically have two minutes to get out of the home safely. He hopes the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign will serve as a reminder to people to always have a fire plan in place.

“We encourage people that when they activate, get out of the house.  Have a meeting place, call from another phone. Don’t try to save the valuables that you believe that can’t be replaced. You cannot replace a life,” said Chief Alston.

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