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American Red Cross holds first annual national Sound the Alarm to Save a Life campaign


 The American Red Cross has been helping save lives for several years but now they are taking their safety measures to the next level.

Regional executive of the American Red Cross West Virginia, Erica Mani, said the American Red Cross is holding its first national Sound the Alarm Save a Life campaign where volunteers are being trained to install smoke alarms in local homes across the country.

“We’re installing over 100,000 free smoke alarms over a 16-day period that ran from April 28 to May 13, so we’re right in the middle of that effort,” said Mani.

Executive Director of American Red Cross North East West Virginia, Jason Keeling, said 44 volunteers received training at Dominion Energy in Bridgeport prior to going to the homes to learn not only how to install the alarms but how they truly save lives.  

“We actually have 15 teams that are going to be dispatching from Dominion Energy here today and going in and installing these smoke alarms,” said Keeling.

On average it takes around two minutes to evacuate from a burning home without death or injury, but with the smoke alarm system the chance of survival is increased by 50 percent.

“This is important because it will literally save someone’s life, so our volunteers going out today can feel good about knowing that they are really making a tremendous difference,” said Keeling.

The Red Cross have already proven this system works by saving lives not only in West Virginia but throughout the nation.

“Over the course of uh several years we have now installed almost 20,000 alarms in West Virginia and over a million across the country,” said Mani. “We’ve saved 417 lives and 21 of those were right here in West Virginia.”

The American Red Cross organization plans to install over 200 alarms in homes within the area in efforts to continue decreasing the amount of death and injury by home fire within the state.

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