Red Cross, Knoxville Fire distribute hundreds of free smoke alar

Red Cross, Knoxville Fire distribute hundreds of free smoke alarms

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Nearly one thousand Knoxville homes have brand new smoke detectors thanks to a joint effort between the Knoxville Fire Department and the American Red Cross Nearly one thousand Knoxville homes have brand new smoke detectors thanks to a joint effort between the Knoxville Fire Department and the American Red Cross
The two teamed up for a massive smoke alarm distribution Saturday, focusing on parts of town where fire crews see the most fires The two teamed up for a massive smoke alarm distribution Saturday, focusing on parts of town where fire crews see the most fires
KFD wants to make sure every home has one KFD wants to make sure every home has one

By HAYLEY HARMON
6 News Anchor/Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Nearly one thousand Knoxville homes have brand new smoke detectors thanks to a joint effort between the Knoxville Fire Department and the American Red Cross.

The two teamed up for a massive smoke alarm distribution Saturday, focusing on parts of town where fire crews see the most fires.

Dozens of American Red Cross volunteers went door to door in North Knoxville, canvassing the Burlington, Lonsdale and Lincoln Park neighborhoods.

The Knoxville Fire Departments says more house fires happen in those areas than anywhere else in the city.

"These older neighborhoods with older homes and older wiring, we always see more fires in these areas," said Knoxville Fire Department Fire Chief Stan Sharpe.

Just Friday morning, a home off Atlantic Avenue caught fire, resulting in a total loss, but thanks to a working smoke alarm, the residents got out safely.

That's the thinking behind Saturday's smoke detector giveaway.

KFD wants to make sure every home has one.

"A fire doubles in size every minute, so seconds make all the difference in the world," said Sharpe.

"Homes that have working smoke alarms increase the chance of you getting out alive by at least two fold."

So for each home found Saturday without a detector, firefighters went in and installed one free of charge.

For homes that already had working smoke alarms, the fire crews tested them and replaced their batteries if needed.

The American Red Cross responded to nearly 1000 disasters in East Tennessee last year, 91 percent of which were house fires.

In many cases, smoke alarms made the difference between a life saved and a life lost in those fires.

"This really boils down to saving lives in our area. That smoke alarm wakes people up in the middle of the night and gets people out of their homes to safety," said Ben Prijatel, communications director for the American Red Cross of Tennessee Mountain Valley.

KFD says in these cold weather months, when house fires are more common overall, it's especially important to get smoke alarms into as many homes as possible.

"In case the worst happens, people are able to get out of their homes and be safe," said Prijatel.

If you are a Knoxville resident and don't have a smoke alarm, you can contact the Knoxville Fire Department by dialing 311, and they will come out and install one for you.

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