‘Potential life saved:’ Seminole County fire, Red Cross team up to install free smoke detectors

Smoke alarms distributed in East Altamonte

Volunteers go door-to-door installing smoke detectors

Seminole County, Fla. – The American Red Cross and Seminole County Fire Department are teaming up to save lives by installing free smoke detectors.

Volunteers and firefighters went door to door in an East Altamonte community Saturday morning. They were installing the free smoke detectors as part of the Red Cross’ “Sound the Alarm” campaign.

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“Across the country every year on overage 2,500 Americans die from home fires and the thing about that it it’s preventable,” said Eric Corliss, the regional CEO for the Central Florida and U.S. Virgin Islands American Red Cross chapter.

Corliss said since the Red Cross launched the nationwide program almost a decade ago, nearly 1,300 lives have been saved.

“We work with the fire department to identify areas where we have responses. We also map out different statistics where homes are most vulnerable and where they need the smoke alarms,” he said.

The fire department said they picked these 560 homes for the blitz because they’ve responded to recent calls in the area. For the hearing impaired, they installed bed shakers that will physically alert them to a fire.

First responders also helped families set up evacuation plans.

“Seconds count when you’re in a house fire and anything that can alarm the occupants to get up, close doors, get out, have a meeting area out front, all of that, everything matters and so we’re happy to be part of this,” SCFD Assistant Chief Jolene Joyce said.

Corliss adds these alarms and emergency plans are getting results.

“Every home that we make safer is potential life saved,” he said.