Residents in several Richland County communities will have the opportunity to receive free smoke alarms for their homes in the coming days.
Staff members with Columbia Richland Fire will be joining volunteers with the South Carolina Region of the American Red Cross and other area fire departments for ‘Sound the Alarm.’ Over the next two Saturdays (April 27th and May 4th) groups will be going door to door to install free smoke detectors to any homeowner or tenant in need of one. Free carbon monoxide (CO) alarms will also be available.
“We really hope citizens will take advantage of this wonderful campaign,” said Columbia Richland Fire Chief Aubrey D. Jenkins, “Smoke alarms are a vital tool to help keep area families safe from the dangers of fire. We greatly appreciate having the support of the Red Cross in helping us get these alarms to those who need them the most.”
On Saturday April 27, 2019 volunteer teams will be taking the alarms to neighborhoods in Eastover, Gadsden and Hopkins. The campaign will then move to the Lincolnshire, Hollywood Hills and Denny Terrace neighborhoods on Saturday May 4, 2019.
Over the two-day period the SC Red Cross has the goal of distributing 1,000 free alarms. All a person has to do to obtain a free alarm is be home when volunteer crews stop by. The campaign will be taking place both Saturdays from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m.
According to the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) roughly 3 out of every 5 fire deaths happen in homes with no smoke alarms or no working smoke alarms. In order to promote proper protection residents should keep the following tips on smoke alarms in mind:
- Install alarms in every bedroom. They should also be outside each sleeping area and on every level of the home.
- Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working. While testing be sure to blow out dust that may have accumulated on and in the alarm.
- A smoke alarm should ideally be installed on the ceiling or high on a wall. Make sure that they are placed 3 feet away from any fans or vents.
- People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers. The South Carolina State Fire Marshal’s Office provides free bed shakers, which are smoke alarms for the deaf and hard-of-hearing.
- Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old.
For more information on the ‘Sound the Alarm’ campaign or to register to become a volunteer visit www.redcross.org/sound-the-alarm.