American Red Cross, St. Louis Fire Department team up to install more than 1,000 smoke detectors this weekend

Published: Mar. 12, 2023 at 11:47 PM CDT
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ST. LOUIS, Mo. (KMOV) - A major push for safety this weekend in St. Louis resulted in more than 400 homes receiving new smoke detectors.

The St. Louis Fire Department and American Red Cross partnered to install smoke detectors in homes in North St. Louis, going door-to-door, as part of the annual Sound the Alarm initiative.

“We want to make sure they’re installed correctly, and we want to make sure they are installed and not sitting on someone’s counter for two days, three days or a week,” said Captain Leon Whitener of the St. Louis Fire Department.

The two agencies have partnered together since 2015, installing smoke detectors together twice a year as people adjust their clocks for Daylight Saving Time in the spring and fall.

This weekend, 1,095 detectors were installed across 405 homes.

“They’re lifesaving,” said Glayds Meyer, a Red Cross volunteer. “You may be able to get a few extra minutes or extra seconds and it’s totally worth it.”

Meyer began volunteering for the Red Cross last summer after the pandemic delayed her ability to get involved. She lost her home to a fire in October of 2018, on her birthday.

“The Red Cross showed up and gave me the one ray of hope, ray of light in my really horrible day,” she said. “I never forgot that and wanted to pay it forward.”

On Sunday, she helped firefighters file paperwork filled out by homeowners receiving new smoke detectors. She’s also worked on response teams, helping families in their time of need.

“I know what they’re going through, and to be able to get them that immediate help in the aftermath of a loss like that, it means everything.”

The Red Cross said house fires are the most frequent calls for aid it receives, seeing six house fires in the last 48 hours in St. Louis.

If you would like to request a smoke detector from the American Red Cross, fill out the form here.