Volunteers install 1,000+ smoke detectors in targeted areas - KSLA News 12 Shreveport, Louisiana News Weather & Sports

Volunteers install 1,000+ smoke detectors in targeted areas

"If one of these smoke detectors saves somebody's life, then it's been worth it for us to do this," volunteer Anthony Grant said. (Source: KSLA News 12) "If one of these smoke detectors saves somebody's life, then it's been worth it for us to do this," volunteer Anthony Grant said. (Source: KSLA News 12)
Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Elam, of Barksdale Air Force Base, was one of 50 or so American Red Cross volunteers helping give out and install free smoke detectors in two southwest Shreveport neighborhoods. (Source: Cody Jennings/KSLA News 12) Staff Sgt. Jeremiah Elam, of Barksdale Air Force Base, was one of 50 or so American Red Cross volunteers helping give out and install free smoke detectors in two southwest Shreveport neighborhoods. (Source: Cody Jennings/KSLA News 12)
SHREVEPORT, LA (KSLA) -

As unlikely as it may seem now, the ArkLaTex soon will begin experiencing the colder temperatures of fall and winter.

That means people will be spending more time in their homes and using heaters, furnaces and fireplaces to keep warm.

And the number of house fires typically rises at that time of year.

So personnel with the North Louisiana chapter of the American Red Cross set out to install at least 1,000 free smoke detectors.

That now is a goal the agency surpassed over the past three weeks, Executive Director Michelle Davison said.

Red Cross volunteers, firefighters and other partners canvassed at-risk neighborhoods as part of the annual Sound the Alarm campaign.

The Red Cross chose Forest Estates Mobile Home Park off Bert Kouns Industrial Loop in Shreveport as one target because fire killed a small child there one morning in July 2015 and heavily damaged a different residence in late October 2016.

The goal of installing free smoke detectors and replacing batteries in existing alarms is to improve people's odds of surviving a house fire should one occur.

Authorities say people typically have just two minutes to safely escape a house fire.  

A working smoke detector increases the odds of survival by 50 percent, according to figures provided by the Red Cross.

"If one of these smoke detectors saves somebody's life, then it's been worth it for us to do this," volunteer Anthony Grant said.

Betty Bass was among those who accepted a free smoke detector from a few of the 50 or so Red Cross volunteers who canvassed two mobile home parks in southwest Shreveport this weekend.

"I've seen mobile homes. This is a mobile home. I've seen them. They just go up quickly," she said.

Grant was out assisting two other volunteers, Jeri Price and Jeremiah Elam.

"Last week, I installed three in a home over on Swan Lake. They had five kids and there's two adults, and they just weren't thinking about it," recalled Elam, a staff sergeant assigned to Barksdale Air Force Base.

Besides smoke detectors, Red Cross volunteers also handed out evacuation plan.

They urged families to set a safe zone, a specific place to meet outside, during a fire and to practice escaping from a fire.

National Fire Prevention Week starts Oct. 8. 

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