Media Release: SFD & Red Cross Partner in National Home Fire Campaign

Jamie McIntyre, Community Risk Reduction Manager, 509.625.7058

Thursday, May 5, 2022 at 4:53 p.m.

On Saturday, May 7, 2022, Spokane Fire Department (SFD) and volunteers from the American Red Cross will be visiting homes in the Nevada Heights neighborhood installing free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms from 10am-3pm. The installations are part of the Red Cross’ national Home Fire Campaign.

Every second counts in a fire or during a carbon monoxide leak. Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms that are 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.

The smoke alarm installations are part of the Red Cross’ national “Sound the Alarm - Save a Life ” campaign. Red Cross will provide ionization sensor smoke alarms thanks to the generosity of their donors. 

The installation campaign was made possible through support from Molina Healthcare of Washington's donation of funds toward the cost of free smoke and carbon monoxide alarms for low-income residents. Lowe’s Home Improvement of North Spokane generously matched the donation with additional carbon monoxide and photoelectric sensor smoke alarms, collectively providing enough alarms to install in 100 homes.

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, replacing batteries in existing alarms, educating families about fire prevention and safety, and fundraise for this lifesaving mission. These efforts have saved hundreds of lives and made hundreds of thousands of households safer.

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 residents 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.

Important safety messages about smoke alarms:

  • A closed door may slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire.
  • Install smoke alarms in every room used for sleeping, outside each separate sleeping area, and on every level of the home, including the basement. Large homes may need extra smoke alarms. It is best to use interconnected smoke alarms. When one smoke alarm sounds they all sound.
  • Smoke rises to the highest point. Smoke alarms should be installed on the ceiling or high on a wall. Keep smoke alarms away from the kitchen to reduce false alarms. They should be at least 10 feet (3 meters) from the stove.
  • Test all smoke alarms at least once a month. Press the test button to be sure the alarm is working. 
  • Replace all smoke alarms when they are 10 years old, or no longer respond when tested.
  • People who are hard-of-hearing or deaf can use special alarms. These alarms have strobe lights and bed shakers.
  • Smoke alarms are an important part of a home fire escape plan.