FLINT TWP. — A free smoke alarm is available to anyone who requests one, said Assistant Fire Chief Mike Burkley. That is due to a partnership formed a few years ago with the American Red Cross’ Home Fire Campaign, which aims to reduce the number of fire-related deaths and injuries by 25 percent by 2020.
The Red Cross is among first responders offering shelter and emotional support to families displaced by house fires.
The campaign focuses on prevention. To date, in Michigan the Red Cross has installed more than 10,000 smoke alarms; conducted more than 3,800 in-home visits; created more than 2,800 evacuation plans and positively impacting nearly 10,000 residents in communities across Michigan, according to information on its web site.
Local response has also been high.
“We have installed roughly about 300 in the township in our trailer parks and residents,” Assistant Chief Burkley said.
He said he was also pleased to learn that the American Red Cross Genesee Lapeer Chapter. In partnership with fire departments, youth groups and churches, has installed more than 3000 smoke alarms and are leading the charge among surrounding counties.
Burkley reported that he recently went down to the Red Cross building in downtown Flint to get more smoke alarms, after running out of supplies on hand. Anyone who needs a smoke alarm can contact him at the fire department.
“They don’t have to live in Flint Township,” he said, noting that the request can be passed on to the Red Cross and its network of partners including the Grand Blanc and Swartz Creek fire departments.
The Flint Township fire department can be contacted at 810-732-4413, or call the Red Cross directly to leave a smoke alarm installation request, at: 313-494-2727.
Each year, 82 percent of U.S. fire deaths and 76 percent of all fire injuries occur in homes, according to the Red Cross, quoting data from the U.S. Fire Administration.
Residents who are able to purchase and install their own smoke alarms can still get information on home fire safety and smoke alarm installation, by visiting www.redcross.org/get-help/prepare-for-emergencies/ types-of-emergencies/fire