Spokane community partners together for alarm installation campaign

Jamie McIntyre, Community Risk Reduction Manager

Monday, April 8, 2019 at 1:53 p.m.

Every second counts in a fire or during a carbon monoxide leak. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms properly installed and maintained provide an early warning signal which could allow everyone in the home to safely escape. Working alarms can mean the difference between life and death.

On Tuesday, personnel from the Spokane Fire Department and volunteers from the Greater Inland Northwest American Red Cross, Leadership Spokane and Spokane Gives will be canvassing the East Central neighborhood, educating residents about the importance of smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms. The installation of free alarms will be done on Saturday. See details below.

The smoke alarm installations are part of the Red Cross’ national “Sound the Alarm and Save Lives” campaign. The American Red Cross has generously donated the smoke alarms for installation.

The installation campaign was also the recipient of the United Way’s “Spokane Gives Mini Grant” which provides $500 toward the cost of free carbon monoxide alarms for low income residents. Lowe’s Home Improvement of North Spokane generously matched the mini grant by donating additional carbon monoxide alarms.

According to the American Red Cross, every day, seven people die in home fires, most in homes that lack working smoke alarms. The Red Cross is doing everything it can to prevent these needless tragedies by having volunteers work alongside fire departments and other local groups, canvassing at-risk neighborhoods to install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms, educate families about fire prevention and safety, and fundraise for this lifesaving mission. In just four years, these efforts have saved hundreds of lives and made hundreds of thousands of households safer.

Often called the invisible killer, carbon monoxide is an odorless, colorless gas created when fuels (such as gasoline, wood, coal, natural gas, propane, oil, and methane) burn incompletely. In the home, heating and cooking equipment that burn fuel are potential sources of carbon monoxide. Vehicles or generators running in an attached garage can also produce dangerous levels of carbon monoxide. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, every year at least 430 people die in the United States from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning.

The Spokane Fire Department Foundation is an important part of this installation campaign. The strategic goal of the Foundation is to provide assistance for the Spokane Fire Department’s CARES Program and support activities for the citizens and visitors of the City of Spokane. Primary funding for the fire department is provided through local taxes. The Foundation provides an opportunity for resources that would otherwise be unmet within the fire department’s budget.