Raymond residents can request appointments for free smoke alarm installation by visiting SoundTheAlarm.org/Maine or calling 874-1192 and choosing Option 3. The Red Cross, the Raymond Fire and Rescue Department and Age Friendly Raymond are teaming up and will perform the installations on Saturday, Sept. 28.
“We urge you to take advantage of these free lifesaving services. Home fires are a real threat to our community,” said Fire and Rescue Chief Bruce Tupper. “Smoke alarms can – and do – save lives. Smoke alarms are your first line of defense to provide you quick warning as you do not have much time to escape the toxic soup of chemicals that a fire creates.”
In addition to installing free battery-powered smoke alarms, teams will check existing alarms, help residents create escape plans and review home fire safety tips with them.
Working smoke alarms reduce the risk of death by half and an escape plan further improves the odds of survival. Many people do not realize that smoke alarms have a 10-year lifespan and need to be replaced after that time.
“Older adults are at the greatest risk of dying in a fire – more than twice that of the population as a whole,” said Sheila Bourque, who serves on Age Friendly Raymond’s Steering Committee. “Taking concrete steps like having working smoke alarms and creating an escape plan can make all the difference.”
On average, seven people die in a home fire every day in the United States. Sixty percent of those deaths take place in homes where the smoke alarms weren’t working properly or where there weren’t any smoke alarms at all.
The Red Cross launched its Home Fire Campaign in 2014 to reduce home fire deaths and injuries. Since then, the Red Cross and its partners have installed nearly 1.9 million free smoke alarms in more than 780,000 homes nationwide.
“We know this work is making a difference. At least 627 lives – including those of 11 Mainers – have been saved because of it,” said Melissa Condon, the Red Cross disaster program manager for Cumberland County. “Home by home, community by community, we are making Maine people safer.”