RAYMOND — The American Red Cross in Maine, partnering with Age Friendly Raymond, is installing free smoke alarms and providing home fire safety education to town residents.
Raymond residents can request free smoke alarm installation by calling 207-874-1192 and choosing Option 3 or by visiting SoundTheAlarm.org/Maine. The Red Cross will follow up to schedule the appointment.
“When a home fire breaks out, you may have as little as two minutes to escape to safety,” said Jonathan Shapiro, the Red Cross regional disaster officer in Maine. “Properly placed, working smoke alarms can – and do – save lives. In fact, they reduce the risk of death by half.”
In addition to installing smoke alarms, Red Cross teams will check existing alarms, help create escape plans and provide other preparedness tips.
The Red Cross launched its Home Fire Campaign in 2014 to reduce home fire deaths and injuries. The Red Cross and its partners have installed more than 1.65 million free smoke alarms nationwide. At least 593 lives – including those of 11 Mainers – have been saved because of these efforts.
“Please take advantage of these free lifesaving services,” said Laurie Wallace, co-chair of Age Friendly Raymond’s steering committee. “Home fires claim seven lives every day in the United States and people 65 years and older make up a disproportionately large share of the victims.”
“We’re glad the Red Cross is offering these services to our neighbors and making Maine communities safer,” said Susan Moore, steering committee co-chair. “You can make your home safer from home fires with working smoke alarms and by having an escape plan.”
Age Friendly Raymond is helping to raise money for the Home Fire Campaign and Sound the Alarm events. For more information, visit www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/age-friendly-raymond/sheilabourque.
Home fires are the nation’s most frequent disaster and account for the majority of Red Cross disaster responses each year. In 2018 alone, the Red Cross responded to some 60,000 home fires to provide emotional support for affected families, help them secure a safe place to stay and assist with their urgent recovery needs.
Raymond is a member of the AARP Network of Age-Friendly Communities, an affiliate of the World Health Organization’s Age-Friendly Cities and Communities Program, an international effort launched in 2006 to help cities prepare for rapid population aging and the parallel trend of urbanization. For more information, visit agefriendlyraymond.org, call 207-655-2222 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
PHOTO: Raymond residents can request free smoke alarm installation through the American Red Cross. (Submitted photo)