1,000 smoke detectors installed in La Crosse homes

Red Cross, Fire Department install detectors, talk about safety plans

One thousand smoke detectors are being installed in La Crosse.

The American Red Cross, the La Crosse Fire Department, and volunteers spent about 20 minutes in each household, both installing the detectors and talking to families about fire safety plans.

Experts say that since people often have fewer than 2 minutes to respond to a fire, a working smoke detector could mean the difference between life and death.

“The smoke detector is your first line of defense to let you know that you have a problem in your house, and it gives you the most time to get to safety and evacuate, to get outside,” said La Crosse Fire Department Lieutenant Kyle Soden.

According to the Red Cross, 65% of all fire related deaths occur in homes without a working smoke detector.

One Red Cross member says that while smoke detectors are great community effort and prevention is key.

“It’s a community effort too. You know, not only do we want to prevent, hopefully, injuries and death, but also even help reduce the amount of damage in case of a fire. But a lot of it too is prevention. The whole idea is if we can prevent fires then we’d be out of business, which would be great,” said American Red Cross La Crosse Chapter Chief Operating Officer Tom Mooney.

If you would like a smoke detector for your home, or help creating a fire escape plan, you can contact the American Red Cross by calling the toll-free number 1 (800) 236-8680.