The sound of the alarm event helps keep families safe…but also gets firefighters out in the community to meet the people they are protecting.

“Your chances of dying in a house fire are 55% lower with smoke detectors present and working in a home,” said Chief Michael Ibberson, Director of Fire Services, Swatara Township Fire and Rescue.

Volunteers and members of the American Red Cross and Swatara Township Fire And Rescue Team are installing free smoke alarms for families in Paxtang and Swatara Township.

“It’s a day that we get to actually interact with the community and make their homes safer We know that not everyone has their own health of their smoke alarms top of mind so being able to provide that service for free in communities in central Pennsylvania every year is really important,” said Laura Burke, Executive Director, American Red Cross Central Pennsylvania Chapter.

The sound alarm event is a part of the National Red Cross home fire campaign and it has helped save over 18 hundred lives.

“Seven people die every day from a home fire so that was kind of the problem that was identified and the Red Cross is trying to provide a solution to it so this campaign was launched in 2014 with the goal of helping families be safer have escape plans and have working smoke alarms,” said Burke.

Volunteers walked through neighborhoods, going door to door asking if smoke alarms were installed and offering to install them if not… Although some had their own alarms, they still provided tips on how to be safe.

“This is just as important as you know the men and women that get on fire trucks and go out and respond to incidents when we have to This is this will save lives and it will reduce property damage,” said Ibberson.

According to the US Fire Administration, since 2012 there has been a 5% increase in house fires which makes today’s event even more important.