Operation Save-A-Life Makes Neighborhoods in Lorain, Sandusky Safer

More than 100 Homes Now Outfitted with New Smoke Alarms

The American Red Cross effort to reduce the number of deaths from home fires continues in Northeast Ohio and across the country.

Locally, 316 smoke alarms were installed in a total of 102 homes on Saturday, October 17, as the result of Fire Safety Walks in Lorain and Sandusky.  Dedicated Red Cross staff members and volunteers were assisted by several partners, walking door-to-door installing the free alarms and offering residents vital fire safety information.

“We are trying to prevent home fires and provide fire safety tips,” said lead Red Cross volunteer Lora Taylor.  “Our goal is to install 200 smoke alarms today, with the help of the Ohio Army National Guard.”

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Photo credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

That goal was surpassed, thanks largely to the efforts of a dozen volunteers from the 837th Combat Engineers at the Lorain Readiness Center. They were teamed with Red Cross staff and volunteers, and installed a total of 227 smoke alarms in 76 homes.  They replaced several old alarms, and in some cases, installed alarms in homes for the first time.

“They installed alarms in one home where there were none before we arrived.  Four children lived in that home,” according to Katie-Myers Griffith, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Lake Erie/Heartland Chapter.  “In another home, they installed alarms where a non-English speaking family tried their best to communicate their thankfulness.  It was an experience to watch the volunteers realize that this program saves lives, and to hear them talk about it.”

Red Cross volunteer Angel Paul, working her first Fire Safety Walk, said “We put smoke alarms in the home of a 93-year old woman who had tears in her eyes as she thanked the soldiers.  She was touched by their selflessness.”

Angel said another home was still being repaired due to a previous fire, and the homeowner still hadn’t gotten around to installing new smoke alarms.

At the same time, Red Cross volunteers in Sandusky installed 88 alarms in 26 homes, with the help of volunteers from the Sandusky Police and Fire Departments and the Home Depot.

Operation Save-A-Life is part of the American Red Cross Home Fire Prevention Campaign.  The goal is to reduce the number of deaths due to home fires by 25% over a five year period.

Installing smoke alarms is just the first step toward protecting your home from fire.  Learn more about preparing your family and preventing home fires here.

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