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Posted on: August 28, 2017

Sound the Alarm for Fire Safety

JAMESTOWN, N.Y.:-- Chautauqua County Executive Vince Horrigan recently joined members of the American Red Cross of Western and Central New York to raise awareness about the American Red Cross’ upcoming Sound the Alarm events.

Sound the Alarm is a series of home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events where Red Cross volunteers and partners canvass neighborhoods to install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms and help families create fire escape plans. Sound the Alarm is a critical part of the American Red Cross’ nationwide Home Fire Campaign, which was launched in 2014 to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent.

“On average, seven people are killed and thirty-six people are injured in a home fire in the United States every day,” said Horrigan. “Many of those deaths and injuries occurred in homes without working smoke alarms.  I urge individuals to better protect themselves and their families from the devastating effects of fires by ensuring their smoke alarms are working and by establishing and practicing a fire escape plan.” 

The American Red Cross of Western and Central New York, which covers the Southern Tier, Finger Lakes, Western New York, Greater Rochester and Central New York regions, will be holding Sound the Alarm events from September 23 through October 15. Over 30 events will be held across the region and two of them will be held in Chautauqua County on October 7 and October 13 in Jamestown.

“We greatly appreciate having the County Executive support this important initiative,” said Kenneth J. Turner, American Red Cross, Western and Central New York Regional Disaster Program Officer. “Together, we can Sound the Alarm about fire safety and help save lives here in Chautauqua County and across the country.”

The American Red Cross has already made a difference across the country with its Home Fire Campaign. Nationally, the campaign has reached over 884,000 people through youth preparedness programs. Its volunteers have also installed more than 941,000 free smoke alarms in homes across the United States between July 1, 2016 and June 30, 2017, with 1,640 of these smoke alarms installed in homes in Western New York. As of July 31, 2017, the campaign has helped the Red Cross and its partners across the country save at least 268 lives, including two in Buffalo and one in Rochester.

Individuals can help contribute to the continued success of the campaign by:

  • Signing-up as a volunteer to help install smoke alarms in their community during a Sound the Alarm event,
  • Making a financial contribution to the campaign,
  • Signing-up for a free smoke alarm installation in their home, or
  • Taking steps to protect their family from home fires by installing smoke alarms and developing an escape plan.

To be alert and ready for a fire, individuals should install smoke alarms in their homes. Smoke alarms should be placed on every level of a home, including inside and outside of bedrooms. They should be tested once a month and batteries should be changed at least once a year.

Individuals should also develop a fire escape plan. Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. Every household should create a fire escape plan and practice it until everyone can escape in less than two minutes. Escape plans should include at least two ways to escape from every room; a designated spot outside where family members can meet; and be discussed and practiced at least twice a year.

To learn more about how you can help or to schedule a free smoke alarm installation appointment at your home, visit

About the American Red Cross:    

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.


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