REDDING, Calif. - Dozens of homes in Redding are now a little safer from house fires thanks to a nationwide campaign led by the American Red Cross.
On Saturday, volunteers from the American Red Cross, Redding Fire Department, Simpson University, Northern California Veterans Museum and Heritage Center, Service Employees International Union, and Bethel Global Response and United Way of Northern California went door to door to install brand new smoke alarms for residents in Redding.
Volunteers went down each block between Shasta County Public Library and the Good News Rescue Mission knocking on doors. Fire Chief Gerry Gray said they decided on those neighborhoods because many of the homes in the area are older and more likely to have outdated alarms.
John Samuels was grateful for the unexpected visit. Samuels knows just how important it is to check smoke alarms.
"I've seen a lot on the news where a lot of people have fires and didn't have smoke detectors and no plan to get out," Samuels explained.
Samuels likes to check his alarms every month, but he moved into the house on State Street just two weeks ago. His smoke alarms expired in 1997.
"I haven't even checked them and now I don't even have to," Samuels said excitedly.
Dale Braband didn't even realize his home didn't have any smoke alarms.
"I didn't even notice because we don't smoke inside. So I never thought about it," Braband explained.
Thanks to volunteers, Braband now has three new alarms. Now with his family protected, he said he's definitely rethinking his fire action plan.
"When everyone comes home from work, I'll tell them what's up," Braband said.
The Red Cross said it installed an estimated total of 202 alarms on Saturday. Redding Fire Chief Gerry Gray is confident it will help save a life one day.
"Even if we prevent one injury or one death from one of these smoke detectors, then I feel like this has been a huge success," Gray said.
The American Red Cross is hoping to hold another similar event in Weaverville next month.