Red Cross offers free smoke alarms

The Red Cross of Alaska hopes to fight fatal fires by providing free smoke alarms to Mountain View residents Jan. 17.

“The goal is to reduce home fire deaths by 25 percent in the next five years,” said Red Cross employee Anna Nilles. “We’re starting by going door-to-door in the most at-risk neighborhoods.”

Neighborhoods were selected based on income and fire risk, and Nilles and other Red Cross workers knocked on doors throughout Mountain View Saturday, distributing flyers to let people know about the upcoming event.

“Smoke alarms save lives!” the flyers read.

According to the Red Cross, fires kill an average of six people per day nationwide.

In Alaska, fires have claimed nearly 100 lives over the past five years, according to the Department of Public Safety. There have been more than a dozen fatal fires in Anchorage since 2009. In the majority of those cases, there were no working smoke alarms.

The two fatal fires that took place in Anchorage last year both occurred in East Anchorage mobile homes. Neither home had a working fire alarm, according to the public safety department.

Across the state, most civilian fire fatalities happen in residential structures, more often in the winter, a 2013 DPS report on fires in Alaska states.

“A continuing problem is the lack of working smoke alarms in homes and other residential property,” the report states.

The Red Cross hopes to change that.

Flyers distributed throughout Mountain View Saturday said residents interested in having an alarm installed Jan. 17 can call 907-646-5407.




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