Smoke alarms save lives! This fact is at the heart of the Home Fire Campaign of the American Red Cross.

In the wake of a New Gloucester fire that is drawing attention to the firefighter shortage in Maine, we want Mainers to know that there are concrete steps you can take to make your home and family safer.

Home fires are a real threat to our communities, taking an average of seven lives every day in the United States. It doesn’t have to be that way. Working smoke alarms reduce the risk of death by half and having an escape plan further improves the odds of survival.

The Red Cross can help you on both those fronts. We will install free smoke alarms in your home. (Did you know that smoke alarms have 10-year lifespans and need to be replaced after that?) We will also help you create escape plans and provide you with other preparedness tips.

These can make all the difference, especially given that you may have as little as two minutes to escape a home fire.

Please take advantage of these free services. We know that this work can – and does – save lives. Since we began this campaign in 2014, we know that at least 600 lives, including those of 11 Mainers, have been saved because of it.

Just give us a call at 874-1192 and choose Option 3 or make an appointment request at SoundTheAlarm.org/Maine.

Jonathan Shapiro

Regional disaster officer

American Red Cross in Maine

Waterboro

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