Local fire departments working to reduce fire-related deaths

SOUTH HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – The sound of smoke detectors going off has saved countless lives, but without working smoke alarms, it’s a warning many people would never get.

That’s something Red Cross volunteers and fire departments across the country hope to change by installing smoke detectors in homes that don’t have already have them, or, have detectors that aren’t up to code.

It’s called the “Home Fire Preparedness Campaign,” a multi-year program that has already spread to five towns in western Massachusetts including Ware, Westfield, Agawam, Chicopee, and most recently, South Hadley.

South Hadley District 1 firefighter Evan Briant told 22News firefighters and Red Cross volunteers made the first of ten stops on Maria Drive in South Hadley on Saturday. “We’ll go through the house first and find out if they need smoke detectors, and if they have expired smoke detectors we’ll take them down and put new ones up,” he said.

While firefighters focused on installing smoke and carbon monoxide detectors in homes, a Red Cross volunteer spent her time showing South Hadley resident Fred Thomas what to do in various emergency situations.  ”I think it’s very important, I’m surprised that everyone doesn’t take advantage of it. I’m looking forward to it actually so that my wife and I will have a way to handle things,” he said.

To find out how you can get involved in a”Home Fire Prepardness Campaign” initiative near you, click here.

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