Firefighters and Red Cross Volunteers to Install Free Smoke Alarms

Published on March 31, 2016

  • Kicks off Saturday, April 2, continues through September

  • 30 percent of homes have no working smoke alarms

  • Smoke alarms reduce your chance of dying by half

The Arlington County Fire Department (ACFD) and Red Cross in the National Capital Region are teaming up to reduce the number of fire-related injuries and fatalities by ensuring residents have working smoke alarms.  Firefighters and Red Cross volunteers will kick off this initiative Saturday, April 2, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., by going door-to-door in the Douglas Park and Nauck neighborhoods, near Fire Station 9, to offer smoke alarm inspections and home fire safety checks. The teams will install free smoke alarms in homes that need them.

According the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), a working smoke alarm reduces the chance of dying in a fire by nearly half. Acting Fire Chief Joseph Reshetar explains, "Early detection of a fire is a key element to survival. Please make sure your smoke alarms are operating properly."

Last summer ACFD piloted this program and, in just 14 days of canvassing, installed a total of 865 alarms and 174 batteries. Of the 1,826 homes inspected last summer, 30 percent had no working smoke alarms or an insufficient number of smoke alarms. Chief Reshetar will join the firefighters and volunteers canvassing this Saturday with the goal of reducing that percentage.

Firefighters from all 10 fire stations will continue to canvas neighborhoods throughout Arlington County every Saturday from now through September, to provide smoke alarm inspections and installations. Arlington County residents may also contact the fire department to schedule these services.

Remember, installing smoke alarms is only one part of home fire safety. The Fire Department and Red Cross encourage you to:

  • Test your smoke alarms every month by pressing the "test" button.

  • Change the batteries in all alarms twice a year with daylight savings time, unless you alarm is equipped with a 10 year lithium battery.

  • Ensure every person in your home understands and practices your home fire escape plan twice a year. Your plan should include two ways out of every room, getting low, closing the door behind, going directly to your predetermined family meeting place, and then calling 9-1-1.