The Effingham Fire Department and the Effingham City Emergency Management Agency, in cooperation and sponsorship by the American Red Cross, announce the “Sound the Alarm – Save A Life” program.

The program offers free home safety information provided by the American Red Cross and smoke alarm installations provided by the Effingham Fire Department and Emergency Management Agency. This free program runs from April 8 to May 8.

Fire Chief Bob Tutko said, “We are excited about this partnership with the American Red Cross that will help to reduce the risks of residential fires and enhance our overall Community Risk Reduction efforts. Fires in residential occupancies account for 3,704 deaths and 16,600 injuries nationally last year according to the latest information from FEMA. Early detection as well as early alarm notification are key elements to surviving a fire in a residential occupancy.”

The Sound The Alarm program is a national effort by the American Red Cross whose aim is to educate 100,000 people nationwide about home fire safety. There are two simple steps: Practice a 2-minute fire escape drill with your family and test your smoke detector. Residents can download an escape plan worksheet and learn more about smoke alarms by logging on to: There they can also complete and submit a safety pledge via the website.

Upon successful completion of those steps, the local Red Cross representative will contact the fire department to schedule the installation of a smoke alarm for those who cannot afford a smoke alarm or are physically unable to install a smoke alarm.

City Emergency Management Agency Coordinator Dave Budde said, “This is another example of an excellent private-public partnership whose goal is to protect the lives and ensure the safety of the community residents. The fire department will be following social distancing, masking and other appropriate guidelines related to the installation of the smoke alarms.”

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