Red Cross volunteers ‘sound the alarm’ for smoke detectors


Smoke detectors are one of the most important things you can have in your home. Today, America Red Cross volunteers made sure some Evansville residents have one that works.

They held their ‘Sound The Alarm’ campaign today.

It’s small, round, noisy, and plays a big part in preventing fires.

“I’ve had smoke alarms ever since I’ve been here,” says James Spruell, who knows their importance from his time as a volunteer firefighter. 

“If they went up, I’d get up and see what was causing it to go off,” Spruell says. He was one of dozens of Evansville residents who got new ones put in as part of the sound the alarm campaign.

“The new ones with a 10-year battery are a good idea, that way you don’t have to change them every six months or so,” he said.

Volunteers went door to door to make sure people had working smoke detectors, and installed new ones for free. They put 52 in at more than 30 homes within a mile of the Salvation Army on North Fulton Avenue. 

“We went in some houses that had just the old brackets where they used to have a smoke detector, but the detector was not even there anymore. Other ones that were old and expired that needed to be replaced,” said Dan Ehrhardt, an American Red Cross volunteer.

Tim Brauer, chair of the board for the Red Cross’s southwest Indiana chapter says while many know to replace batteries when Daylight Savings Time changes, many don’t know that smoke alarms can wear out after ten years.

“At my home, when I first heard about it as a board member, I had a 20 year old home and the smoke detectors were original. I’ve been replacing the batteries. It still made noise, but I didn’t realize that I could be at risk, that it wouldn’t detect smoke,” he said.

“It’s nice that the Red Cross and the other people sponsoring these fire alarms are coming around and doing this because many of the residents, especially in this area that don’t have smoke alarms in their homes,” adds Spruell.

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(This story was originally published on March 16, 2019)

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