'Sound the Alarm': Red Cross, WTHR Sunrise installing smoke alarms

WTHR Sunrise personalities Carlos Diaz, Chuck Lofton, Mimi Pearce, Ben Hill and Julia Moffitt pose for a picture while volunteering at an American Red Cross smoke detector blitz in Indianapolis, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Camille Hayes)
'Sound the Alarm' - new, longer-lasting smoke alarms
Red Cross 'Sound the Alarm' event
Red Cross installing smoke alarms
Sounding the alarm
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INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - Five years ago, the American Red Cross set up a program to keep people safer by providing properly working smoke alarms. But here in Indiana, the “Sound the Alarm” program has further evolved into an educational program for fire safety in the home.

Since the Red Cross started its Home Fire Outreach initiative in 2014, more than 49,000 Indiana youth have received home fire tips, more than 18,000 Indiana homes have created escape plans and more than 44,000 smoke alarms have been installed. Perhaps the most significant stat: an estimated 17 lives have been saved in Indiana in the past five years because of this increased awareness.

If you’re still in the group which thinks other people’s homes catch on fire but it will never happen to your family, you may want to reconsider. The Red Cross responded to nearly 1,400 home fires in Indiana last year. That's almost four fires every single day in 2018.

That’s why the entire WTHR Sunrise morning crew met up on Indy’s west side Thursday to help install smoke alarms in homes in a local community. With the help of some wonderful Red Cross volunteers, the Sunrise staff let people in this neighborhood know that fire alarm safety is no joke.

WTHR Sunrise Reporter Matt McCutcheon poses for a photo with three of the show's producers on their way to volunteer with the American Red Cross installing new smoke detectors on the west side of Indianapolis, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Matt McCutcheon)
WTHR Sunrise Reporter Matt McCutcheon poses for a photo before receiving instructions for WTHR Sunrise's smoke detector blitz with the American Red Cross in Indianapolis, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Camille Hayes)
American Red Cross regional CEO Chad Priest talks to volunteers, including WTHR Sunrise Reporter Matt McCutcheon, ahead of a smoke detector blitz in Indianapolis, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Frank Young)
WTHR Sunrise anchors Julia Moffitt and Ben Hill listen to instructions ahead of an American Red Cross smoke detector blitz in Indianapolis, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Camille Hayes)
A representatives with the American Red Cross gives instructions for a smoke detector blitz done in partnership with the WTHR Sunrise crew in Indianapolis, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Camille Hayes)
WTHR Sunrise Traffic Anchor Mimi Pearce and Reporter Carlos Diaz look at their plan for a smoke detector blitz in partnership with the American Red Cross in Indianapolis, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Frank Young)
WTHR Sunrise anchors Julia Moffitt and Mimi Pearce listen to guidance during an American Red Cross smoke detector blitz in Indianapolis, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Camille Hayes)
WTHR Sunrise personalities Carlos Diaz, Chuck Lofton, Mimi Pearce, Ben Hill and Julia Moffitt pose for a picture while volunteering at an American Red Cross smoke detector blitz in Indianapolis, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Camille Hayes)
WTHR Sunrise Reporter Matt McCutcheon talks with two of the show's producers while volunteering at an American Red Cross smoke detector blitz in Indianapolis, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Camille Hayes)
WTHR's Chuck Lofton points out a house to station General Manager Larry Delia and Sunrise personalities Julia Moffitt, Mimi Pearce, Ben Hill and Carlos Diaz while volunteering at a smoke detector blitz in Indy, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Camille Hayes)
WTHR Sunrise Anchor Ben Hill and meteorologist Chuck Lofton discuss their plan for a smoke detector blitz in partnership with the American Red Cross in Indianapolis, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Frank Young)
WTHR Sunrise personalities and producers volunteered installing new smoke detectors at a neighborhood on the west side of Indianapolis in partnership with the American Red Cross, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Camille Hayes)
WTHR Anchor Julia Moffitt poses for a photo while volunteering with the American Red Cross during a smoke detector blitz on the west side of Indianapolis, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Frank Young)
WTHR Sunrise personalities Julia Moffitt and Chuck Lofton knock on the door of a house on the west side of Indianapolis offering to install a new smoke detector in partnership with the American Red Cross, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Camille Hayes)
Live Doppler 13 Meteorologist Chuck Lofton works on replacing an old smoke detector while volunteering with the American Red Cross on the west side of Indianapolis, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Camille Hayes)
Live Doppler 13 Meteorologist Chuck Lofton works on replacing an old smoke detector while volunteering with the American Red Cross on the west side of Indianapolis, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Camille Hayes)
WTHR General Manager Larry Delia works on replacing an old smoke detector while volunteering with the American Red Cross on the west side of Indianapolis, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Camille Hayes)
WTHR Sunrise personalities Ben Hill, Carlos Diaz and Mimi Pearce talk to a resident on the west side of Indianapolis volunteering with the American Red Cross replacing old smoke detectors, Thursday, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Camille Hayes)
The entire WTHR Sunrise crew - including many of our behind-the-scenes employees - partnered with the American Red Cross for a smoke detector blitz on the west side of Indianapolis Thursday, May 2, 2019. (WTHR Photo/Larry Delia)

Get this: seven people die in home fires everyday in our country. You normally have just two minutes or less to get out of your home during a fire.

That's why the Indiana Chapter of the American Red Cross is switching out those old 9-volt-battery-needing smoke detectors in homes, and replacing them with newer models that use a lithium battery with a 10-year battery life.

Nationally, the Red Cross' goal is for volunteers to install 100,000 free smoke alarms, helping make homes safer in more than 100 high-risk communities.

And the WTHR Sunrise crew is happy to do our part to help.