Red Cross, North Charleston Fire Department go door-to-door installing free smoke alarms

NORTH CHARLESTON (WCSC) - The numbers are staggering.

According to statistics released by the American Red Cross, at least seven people in the United States die in a fire every day.

It's numbers like this that birthed the partnership between Red Cross South Carolina and the North Charleston Fire Department. The duo teamed up as part of a national smoke alarm sweep, installing free smoke alarms in areas that need it most.

"We lose 3000 people a year in the US to fire," said Bianca Bourbeau, a spokeswoman for the North Charleston Fire Department.

"85 percent of those folks were in homes where the smoke alarm didn't work."

In North Charleston, the Red Cross reports serving 155 families since April, most of whom were victims of house fires.

Saturday, volunteers went door-to-door through the city's Chicora Cherokee neighborhood, with a goal of 100 smoke alarm installations.

Volunteers also worked with families to create a fire escape plan..

"We're a house full of girls. It was really nice that they put that up for us," said resident Tina Tyler.

"It's neighbors taking care of neighbors in South Carolina," added state Red Cross CEO, Louise Welch Williams.

Teams set out to reduce the state's rate of death and fire injury by 25% over the next five years.

Since its October 11th launch. the statewide smoke alarm sweep has recorded more than 900 installations.

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