FARMINGTON — The Red Cross will be canvassing neighborhoods Saturday and installing free smoke alarms in homes that need them.

According to Eric Lynes, the Red Cross of Maine’s disaster program manager, the Franklin County Emergency Management Agency and the Farmington Fire Department are partnering with the Red Cross to canvass and install free smoke alarms from 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. in homes that need them

“Home fires are the greatest threat to American families,” Lynes said. “Seven people die every day from home fires. A fire-related injury is reported every 40 minutes.

Volunteers in groups of three will go door-to-door. The visits are expected to take about 20 minutes. The teams will also provide fire safety information.

The Red Cross still is seeking volunteers from inside the organization, Lynes said Wednesday, and the number of smoke detectors to be installed depends on pre-canvassing efforts on Wednesday and Thursday. He said volunteers installed 65 smoke detectors in Auburn and Lewiston. This year, he said, the goal is 66.

Lynes said while the need is great everywhere, the agency will focus the effort on mobile home parks.


“The Home Fire Preparedness Campaign aims to save lives, reduce injuries and build more resilient communities through raising awareness, facilitating preventative actions and fostering community participation,” he said. “The national goal is a 25 percent reduction in home fire deaths and injuries in the next five years.”

The Home Fire Preparedness Campaign kicked off last year. Part of the five-year campaign is to save lives lost to preventable causes and to improve resilience in the social safety net in the face of disasters.

“The Red Cross and our partners will achieve the goals of this campaign by establishing coalitions in communities all across America,” Lynes said, “bringing together local fire departments, businesses, faith-based organizations, schools, public health departments, social service agencies, neighborhood leaders and others.”

Lynes said the coalition of groups plans several joint activities, and Saturday’s Farmington effort is one of them.

“The cornerstone of the campaign is installing free smoke alarms if the residence needs one,” he said.

He said anyone in need of a detector can call the Red Cross at 795-4004 and sign up for an installation at a later date.


“What we hoped for and anticipated is that these events will raise awareness to the need, and as a result we field quite a few calls after the event,” Lynes said.

Douglas McIntire — 612-9252

Twitter: @CD_McIntire

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