Helping Works

Make Nampa homes safer: Volunteer to install smoke alarms during Sound the Alarm event

Save a life: volunteer to install free smoke alarms

American Red Cross volunteers install free smoke alarms and provide fire safety information.
Up Next
American Red Cross volunteers install free smoke alarms and provide fire safety information.

House fires are devastating, spreading so quickly that even with a smoke alarm, the time for occupants to escape can be limited to just one to two minutes.

You can imagine how drastically that escape time is affected in homes sans alarms. Not good.

In regards to safety, smoke alarms are a must, especially since home fires account for 90 percent of American Red Cross disaster responses each year.

“Every day, seven people lose their lives in home fires across this country — often because they don’t have working smoke alarms and a plan how to escape safely during a home fire,” explains Chris Volmer, Red Cross disaster program manager in southwest Idaho.

In order to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries, the Home Fire Campaign was established in 2014. To date, “volunteers have installed more than 1.5 million smoke alarms and saved more than 500 lives.”

This year’s Sound the Alarm event is planned for Friday and Saturday, April 26-27, which is “part of a nationwide Red Cross effort to install alarms in 100 US cities during a two-week push this spring.”

From 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. both days, volunteers are needed to go door-to-door in Nampa neighborhoods, installing free smoke alarms, replacing batteries in existing alarms, and educating families about fire prevention and safety.

About 170 volunteers will be needed to help the Idaho Red Cross and its community partners reach the goal of installing 600 free smoke alarms.

Training and lunch will be provided. Spanish-speaking volunteers are needed.

To register, go to

For questions about volunteering or forming a volunteer team, call Danielle Pozernick at 208-258-0592.

Those interested in making a donation to support the Sound the Alarm program can visit

Michelle Jenkins compiles event calendars, archives and writes a Helping Works column for the Idaho Statesman. She attended Boise State University and grew up in New Plymouth, Idaho.