(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The American Red Cross partnered up with the St. Joseph Fire Department to canvas neighborhoods hit especially hard by fires.
The effort, called After the Fire Neighborhood Sweep, was created with the hope of spreading awareness over the importance of working smoke alarms.
The fire department along with Red Cross volunteers spent much of the afternoon along Felix Street, east of 22nd Street. It's an area that has seen fires tear through multiple homes in recent months.
"We recently had three or four housefires on one block of Felix Street," Mindy Andrasevitz, SJFD said.
Red Cross said they want to make the process of upgrading smoke alarms easy for those who need to.
"We will come out and check smoke detectors and we’ll also install free smoke alarms," Angie Springs, American Red Cross spokesperson said.
Red Cross staff said having a working smoke alarm can make all the difference when it comes to surviving a house fire.
"By the time that smoke alarm goes off you have under two minutes to get out," Springs said.
SJFD staff said the collaboration makes sense because both organizations work toward the same goals.
"It's about safety and health of our community," Andrasevitz said.
"If we can provide that help and hope on the front end with a smoke alarm then we’ve done our job," Springs said.
American Red Cross staff said their program distributing and installing smoke alarms is available 24/7 free of charge. More information can be found at their website.