Red Cross’ national campaign offering free smoke alarms headed to North Richmond


American Red Cross representatives plan to stop by homes in the Shields-Reid neighborhood of North Richmond on May 16 to install free smoke alarms for residents who need them, it was announced this week.

The campaign providing both free alarms and installations is part of a nationwide effort by American Red Cross to reduce deaths and injuries from house fires by 25 percent over five years. The Red Cross has partnered with the Richmond Fire Department to administer the program locally.

The program will first start with seniors and disabled residents in North Richmond. At a recent informational meeting at the Neighborhood House of North Richmond Multi/Cultural Family Service Center, 28 seniors signed up to have alarms in their homes, according to Richmond City Manager Bill Linday’s newsletter.

Plans are in the works to identify other community members in need of alarms and installation and fire safety education, said Fire Capt. Rico Rincon. RFD plans to meet with various community organizations such as neighborhood councils to promote the program, Rincon said.

“We don’t know how many lives each year will be saved by installing smoke alarms, but what we do know is that lives will be saved by installing smoke alarms,” Lindsay’s newsletter stated.