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Opelika Fire & Red Cross Join Forces to Increase Smoke Detector Awareness

Red Cross Home Fire Campaign Aims to Reduce Home Fire Deaths and Injuries

Opelika, AL   The Opelika Fire Department, alongside the Red Cross, is encouraging residents to test smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. 

Seven times a day someone in this country dies in a fire. The American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign aims to reduce the number of fire deaths and injuries by as much as 25 percent over the next few years.

 Launched in October of 2014, the Red Cross and thousands of campaign partners have helped save numerous lives through the effort, as well as installing more than a quarter million smoke alarms in homes all across the country.

 The campaign focuses on increasing the use of smoke alarms in neighborhoods with high numbers of home fires and encouraging everyone to practice their fire escape plans

 “We have witnessed tragic home fires right herein our community,” said Marty Nelson, Disaster Program Manager of the East Alabama Chapter of the American Red Cross. “ But there are simple steps every household can take right now to help save lives in the future.”

 SIMPLE STEPS TO SAVE LIVES The Red Cross is calling on everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: create and practice their home fire escape plan and check their smoke alarms.

Other safety steps include:

  • If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Local building codes vary and there may be additional requirements where someone lives.
  • If someone does have alarms, test them today. If they don’t work, replace them.
  • Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.
  • Practice that plan. This is a critical step, especially with children.

Red Cross is offering smoke alarms with no maintenance 10 year batteries for anyone that needs them. Volunteers will ensure that they are properly installed and will offer simple safety training and assist with development of an escape plan customized to each home. 

Many homes have non-functional alarms, insufficient alarms, or alarms that have are simply too old to be reliable. If your alarms are more than 10 years old they should be replaced.  The Red Cross along with its local partners will provide the alarms and installation, free of charge, for anyone that requests them. In addition, special alarms for the hard of hearing can be ordered and installed for those that need them.

To get scheduled for an installation, simply call the Red Cross at (334) 749-9981.You will be asked your address, contact information and the number of bedrooms in your home.  Someone will follow up shortly to schedule your installation.

RED CROSS APPS People can learn how to help prevent a home fire and what to do if one occurs by downloading the RedCross Emergency App. Children can earn points and incentives in a fun,gaming environment while learning how to prevent a home fire and other emergencies in the MonsterGuard: Prepare for Emergencies App. The First Aid App provides expert advice including what to do for burns, broken bones, and breathing and cardiac emergencies. The apps can be downloaded for free in app stores or at

WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO People can visit to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire.

Aboutthe 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.

For more information about the Opelika Fire Department, please call 334-705-5300.