Written by David Haas
In a typical year, home fires kill more people than all other natural disasters combined in the United States. The Red Cross has set a goal to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries in the US by 25% through the Home Fire Campaign. Each spring during the last weekend of April and first two weeks of May, Red Cross hosts the National Signature Event – Sound the Alarm. The 2018 Sound the Alarm campaign promotes fire safety and seeks to install 100,000 fire alarms in at-risk communities nationwide.
The Red Cross of Eastern PA held a large event Friday, May 4th in the Port Richmond neighborhood of Philadelphia. Helping to kick off the morning’s event were a wide range of senior leaders of the Philadelphia and Pennsylvania safety community. Dan Bradley, the Director of Philadelphia’s Office of Emergency Management highlighted the importance of our involvement in Sound the Alarm by stating that “Fires are the #1 most frequent hazard occurring across the city, and the most important thing someone can do to prevent fire is to install a smoke alarm; the second most important thing is to have an emergency escape plan.”
Approximately 150 volunteers and partners from Wawa, PECO, FEMA, Boston Consulting Group, Philadelphia Fire Department, Duke Realty, CapTech Ventures, Temple University and Philadelphia Soul fanned out across the Port Richmond neighborhood for five hours installing smoke detectors and educating residents on fire safety. Through the volunteers’ hard work, 125 homes were made safer and 267 smoke alarms were installed free of charge.
Volunteers received a warm welcome from the community and several instances of non-working and outdated detectors were found and replaced. Said Interim Red Cross CEO Angela A. Broome Powley: “You never know which smoke alarm installed today will save a life tomorrow.” To date, over 400 lives have been saved through the Home Fire Campaign.
From left, Boston Consulting Group David Webb, Red Cross Eastern Pennsylvania Interim CEO Angela A. Broome Powley, Director of Philadelphia’s Office of Emergency Management Dan Bradley, Pennsylvania Acting State Fire Commissioner Bruce Trego, FEMA Region 3 Administrator MaryAnn Tierney and Philadelphia Fire Commissioner Adam Thiel
Go to www.SoundTheAlarm.org/EasternPA to learn more, or access Volunteer Connection to sign up for an upcoming event.