American Red Cross offers new program following several deadly f - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

American Red Cross offers new program following several deadly fires

POPLAR BLUFF, MO (KFVS) - The American Red Cross is offering a free smoke alarm installation campaign across eastern Missouri and including 13 counties covering southeast Missouri.

The Red Cross is providing this service to help minimize deaths in fires due to the lack of working smoke detectors.

Kate Struttman, Disaster Program Manager with the American Red Cross says the new program is a different way to approach safety.

Struttman wants the people that need a working smoke detector to call them and so they can come out and install detectors for them.

All people need to do is call, leave their name, address, phone number and a good time to call them back.

The Red Cross will call the people back and plan out a time and day when they are able to get out there and install the smoke detectors. 

Beginning Jan. 1, Struttman says they have opened up 52 cases and have helped 175 people in the region, including several deadly fires.

Two children and a grandmother died in Poplar Bluff and another in University City, where two children and a grandmother were killed.

On January 31, the American Red Cross and other crews went inside homes and installed smoke detectors in Poplar Bluff.

Crews also checked smoke detector batteries and replaced and tested them to make sure they were working okay. 

The Red Cross educated residents in how to check and replace batteries, fire extinguishers, and helped residents lay out a plan of escape, and who to contact in emergency situations.

Heartland News talked with residents of Poplar Bluff the next day after a fire killed three people.

People there said they would like to see help of getting proper installation of smoke detectors in their homes. Struttman says that this new campaign will help those individuals in need.

Struttman also says, in the start if 2015 they have seen an increase of fires involving space heaters.

She urges people to think about safety and make sure their smoke alarms are checked and in working order.

Also with the time change approaching, Struttman reminds people that it is a good time to change their batteries.

Struttman stresses that working smoke alarms cut fire deaths in half.

Fore any questions, concerns or to set up an installation call 573-335-9471 or 1-888-335-9471.

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