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Sound The Alarm:  Greater Rochester Red Cross’ Free Smoke Alarm Campaign

By Staff

“Sound The Alarm” is a call to action to prevent or respond to an emergency, and the name of an initiative of the American Red Cross of Greater Rochester and a national campaign which seeks to install 50,000 free smoke alarms across the country.

As part of the national organizations initiative which will be highlighted through June, local volunteers and partners will install free smoke alarms to assist families in 50 at-risk communities and provide education on developing a prevention plan for home fires.

Teams of volunteers are scheduled to install smoke alarms and provide fire safety education in 75 homes. The activities will include volunteer training, scheduling smoke alarm installations and meeting with local families.

Helping kick off the campaign, Assemblyman Demond Meeks was on site at the Red Cross Blood Donation Center in West Henrietta representing his district that includes a large section of the City of Rochester.  It is a section of the city that has a significantly higher number of home fires incidents than other areas in the region, as reported by the Red Cross.

According to the American Red Cross website, the 3 key components of the campaign are:

  • Creating an escape plan
  • Practicing a 2-minute fire drill
  • Testing your smoke alarms

Traditionally known for blood donations, the organization not only provides 40% of the nations blood supply but also provides various services which include disaster response assistance, shelter, food, prevention education and disaster preparedness, teaching skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. 

Since 2014, the Home Fire Safety campaign helped save lives by installing free smoke alarms in homes that don’t have them and has resulted in 1,275 lives saved nationally with 43 documented incidents prevented in the western NY region.

The Sound the Alarm program is made possible by several financial donations from regional partners including the National Grid, National Fire Adjustment Company, Inc. (NFA), GEICO, M&T Bank,  Eastman and more.


City residents can obtain a free smoke alarm by calling the local Rochester Red Cross  at (585)241-4400 or for more information visit online at