American Red Cross trying to prevent house fires with national campaign

The goal is to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires in the U.S.

EASTHAMPTON, Mass. (WWLP)- Seven people die in house fires in the U.S. every day.

On Monday, as part of a national home fire campaign, Red Cross volunteers worked with the Easthampton Fire Department to install new smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.

“The idea is to give people that early warning so that if there is a fire they can get out of the house quickly and protect themselves,” said Don Cawrse, Volunteer for the American Red Cross.

The goal of this program is to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires in Easthampton and across the country as much as 25 percent over the next 4 years. To qualify for free alarms, a home has to have been built before 1975 with alarms that are at least 10 years old. 10 homeowners received new smoke and carbon monoxide detectors Monday.

“Safety is so important in life especially in this day and age,” said Frank Steplar of Easthampton. “I’m a firm believer in safety.”

Easthampton firefighters said they’ve seen a lot of homes with outdated and defective smoke detectors.

“People are dying from not changing batteries in smoke detectors so if we just change one today and it helps in the future, we’ve done a good job,” said Wayne Henneman, Fire Prevention Officer of the Easthampton Fire Department.

They plan to visit seven more homes Tuesday. The campaign continues in Northampton next month.

The American Red Cross hopes to install at least 1500 smoke detectors in western Massachusetts by the end of the year.