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United Way supports American Red Cross Home Smoke Alarm Program

The United Way of Southbridge, Sturbridge and Charlton supports the Emergency Preparedness program of the American Red Cross for the Tri-Community.  One of the programs is "Sound the Alarm" a home smoke detector installation program.  Below is a story from the American Red Cross on the importance of having working smoke detectors in all homes. 

American Red Cross

Home Fire Prevention

Fire can catch anyone off guard — home fires are unexpected and move faster than people think. Janette Washington and her son Timothy know that all too well. On a stormy night in April, the worst happened: Janette woke to find her ceiling engulfed in flames.

That night, most of Janette and Timothy’s home was destroyed. But it could have been far worse if Jannette hadn’t heard a presentation from local firefighters about the importance of fire safety at her church. What’s more, they had smoke alarms from the Red Cross that were installed for free by volunteers.

A Georgetown Mother and Son Share Their Home Fire Story

The newly installed smoke alarm woke Janette up that critical night, sending her into action. She woke up her son Timothy and the two made their way safely outside.

“I'm very, very grateful for that smoke alarm... it saved our lives.”

Janette and Timothy’s story is scary, but not unique. On average, seven people die every single day in a home fire. That’s why the Red Cross is dedicated to providing home fire preparedness training, installing free smoke alarms and supporting those who need to rebuild their lives after losing everything in a fire.

Incidences of home fires are highest in the winter. You can protect yourself and loved ones by checking to make sure you have working smoke alarms in your house. For more information on how to be home fire safe, visit