American Red Cross installing free smoke detectors to Cape Girardeau residents

Smoke alarms typically detect smoke, not the amount of love inside of a home.
Published: Mar. 4, 2023 at 10:26 PM CST|Updated: Mar. 4, 2023 at 10:27 PM CST
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CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo. (KFVS) - Smoke alarms typically detect smoke, not the amount of love inside of a home. Through a program by the American Red Cross, several families across Cape Girardeau received free smoke alarms.

Lena Sullivan’s home is where her family belongs, with 8 kids, 19 grandkids, and decades of memories decorating her house. But between inflation, working full-time, and facing the challenges of life, Sullivan says the second she discovered a way to get new free smoke alarms through the American Red Cross, she was all in.

“I remember filling the application out, but I forgot that they was coming by. So when I heard them on my ring doorbell, we just got real excited,” Sullivan said.

Door by door and by appointment, Amanda Smith and her team at the American Red Cross are asking people if they and the Cape Girardeau Fire Department can install new alarms.

“We can get set up to come out there in that neighborhood and install smoke alarms up to three per home,” Smith said.

Smith says home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster.

“This last year alone in Missouri, the Red Cross has responded to almost five home fires every single day,” Smith said. “By installing these smoke alarms in people’s homes, it’s just one of the greatest things we do as part of our mission.”

Tameka Randele is the executive director of PORCH Initiative, which aims at revitalizing South Cape. PORCH is partnering with the Red Cross to help install more than 60 different alarms.

“It is about numbers, but sometimes it’s a pleasant smile, and letting people know they’re welcome, we appreciate them, how can we help,” Randele said.

If you need assistance with smoke detectors in your home, the American Red Cross urges you to call them or your local fire department.