Fire alarms distributed in Englewood as part of 'Sound the Alarm' effort

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Saturday, April 28, 2018
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The Red Cross's Sound the Alarm effort gave 300 Englewood residents smoke alarms Saturday.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A nationwide push to reduce the number of deaths and injuries related to house fires came to Chicago Saturday.

The American Red Cross campaign, called Sound the Alarm, sent 140 volunteers door to door in Englewood to deliver and install smoke alarms to 300 residents.

"We know every single day in this country, seven people die in home fires, and we know that having a working smoke alarm can help reduce death in home fires by over 50 percent," said Red Cross CEO Celena Roldan.

Nearly 900 lives could be saved each year if all homes had a working smoke alarm, officials said.

Overall, Sound the Alarm is working to put 100,000 smoke alarms in homes nationwide. 2,000 of those alarms were installed in Illinois.

Pamela Thomas-Hall said her home was destroyed in a fire six years ago.

"Smoke detectors save lives, you must have that," Thomas-Hall said. "You could be asleep. You are not going to hear the fire, you are not going to smell it by the time. You really have two minutes to get out of your house."

According to the Chicago Fire Department, the Englewood area is at high risk for fires. There were over 700 fires in the area in 2017 and more than 200 so far in 2018.

"This is a trend that must stop. The lives of our parents, grandparent and children must be saved," said a CFD representative. "Too many instances, the Chicago Fire Department has found that most deadly fires occur in homes without a working smoke detector."

Sound the Alarm volunteers gathered at Hamilton Park early Saturday to pick up the alarms and get a short training before going to homes in Englewood.

The smoke alarms delivered by Sound the Alarm were free to residents. Each alarm is equipped with a 10-year battery.

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