(ST. JOSEPH, Mo) For Sue Johnson, changing her smoke alarms has been a bit of a challenge, that is until she came across a program that helps people with the task.
"I ran into some friends of mine and we were talking about it," Johnson a homeowner said. "I thought I’ll do it this year."
She decided to let the American Red Cross give her a hand. Volunteers went home to home handing out and installing smoke detectors for free Saturday, their goal was to make sure everyone in St. Joseph has a working, up-to-date smoke alarm.
Now sue has new smoke detectors installed throughout her home thanks to the American red cross and their efforts to Sound the Alarm.
"We are out there helping a lot of people who really need this service." Kevin Kirby, volunteer American Red Cross said.
Sound the Alarm is a campaign that gives out and installs these alarms at no cost to the homeowner, the Red Cross makes it happen every year and they say its important people update their smoke alarms on a regular basis
"We heard today that many people had their smoke alarms for 25 30 years," Kirby said. "Even with a good battery in them, they may not be as effective."
When seconds count, volunteers say timing is everything. The Red Cross said in the event of a fire, occupants have about two minutes to get out of a house and that what saves lives is having the early warning of a smoke alarm.
"We can put them up and the batteries don’t have to be changed for ten years and it keeps people safe." Kirby said
As for Sue, she says she’s grateful for the program and can rest easy no longer worried about her smoke alarms.
"Now that they’ll last 10 years will help me out an awful lot." Sue said.
This is the 23rd year for the Sound the Alarm campaign in St. Joseph.