American Red Cross to replace smoke detectors for free in southeast Missouri

American Red Cross to replace smoke detectors for free in southeast Missouri

SOUTHEAST MISSOURI (KFVS) - According to the Red Cross, you really only have two minutes to get out of a house when you realize it's on fire.

Just how prepared are you if that were to happen?

The American Red Cross will install smoke alarms in southeast Missouri for free on Saturday.

Trained volunteers will come to your house and install the smoke alarm and educate you on fire safety in the home.

It's the second year the American Red Cross is replacing smoke detectors.

Executive director Sara Gerau said the members involved take this service seriously after an incident last year, in which a home that could have been outfitted with the free detectors caught fire, killing two people.

"Less than twelve hours later, there were two fatalities that were children, that were a few blocks from where we had stopped canvassing," Gerau said.

"So, that was just heartbreaking to us, to the fire department those firemen that had been on our campaign helping install, and with less than twelve hours later they were responding to a home fire. So, We just know we got to get out there to as many homes as possible."

Gerau said most of the houses volunteers go to just need their batteries replaced.

Another common mistake is misplacement of a smoke detector, causing it go off while cooking. The firefighters can find a spot to replace your smoke detector and alleviate these issues.

Multiple emergency crews are participating in the smoke alarm installation.

The partnering agencies include the Missouri National Guard, Popper Bluff Fire Department, Butler County Emergency Management Agency, United Gospel Rescue Mission, Butler County Fire, and River Radio.

The kickoff for installing smoke alarms will begin on March 12 at 8 a.m. at the United Gospel Rescue Mission.

Even if you don't call in, you might get a knock on your door anyways from the American Red Cross to make sure your smoke detectors work.

If you're interested call 573-335-9471 ext.1310 by Thursday at 4 p.m. The American Red Cross will continue to take calls and volunteers until March 12, 2016.

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