Local “Sound the Alarm” event installs smoke detectors in over 140 homes

Hoquiam Fire Chief Matt Miller spoke on Monday during the city council meeting to give a report about their involvement over the weekend with the 2023 Sound the Alarm event.

The event, done in cooperation with the Aberdeen Fire Department and the American Red Cross, looked to ensure that homes had working smoke detectors, and offered free installation for homeowners.

Volunteers gathered on Saturday for the event that had a goal to install smoke alarms in at least 100 homes that didn’t have them.

Miller said during the meeting that they had a productive weekend, but more work needs to be done.

The Red Cross says that Sound the Alarm is the action element of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign that began in 2014 with a goal to reduce death and injury from fires in the home by equipping smoke detectors. 

They say that home fires claim around 2,200 lives each year, and two-thirds of them are in homes that lack an alarm.

“Having a working smoke alarm can cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half.”

According to Miller, while the weekend event has concluded, the goal of the project is ongoing, and more resources are available for residents.

The Home Fire Campaign is a year-around effort, carried out by Red Cross chapters all over the country. Aberdeen and Hoquiam were two neighborhoods chosen for a Sound the Alarm event this fall to coincide with Fire Prevention Week. 

Hannah Christen, Preparedness Manager for the region, explains that the two cities were picked because they feature large areas of poverty with many older buildings. 

“Home fires occur more often in areas of poverty, where buildings are likely to be older and run down. “

Christen says the October 21 event focused on neighborhoods where many of the dwellings are 100 or more years old.

For more information on how to ensure your home has proper smoke detectors, contact your local fire department.