Ogden VFD partners with Red Cross to install free smoke alarms

Updated: February 2, 2018

Special to Little River News

Ogden Volunteer Fire Department members have been working for almost a year on a plan to resolve a major safety issue in the community – many homes in the area were without smoke alarms. The group recently completed the plan and, on Saturday, Jan. 27, three volunteers from the American Red Cross Greater Arkansas Chapter, plus 12 Ogden VFD volunteers installed 141 free 10-year LED smoke alarms in 48 Ogden residences.

American Red Cross statistics show that an average of six people lose their lives each day from home fires. This knowledge spurred the Ogden VFD members to try to come up with a way to bring that number down. The group spent a year canvassing Ogden city residences and promoting home fire safety at community events such as the spring Pancake Breakfast and the Fall Fest, where people signed up for the free smoke alarms and were offered information on planning a fire escape route and could receive a home fire safety checklist.

The Ogden VFD and American Red Cross volunteers stress the fact that when a fire starts inside a dwelling, people inside have only as little as two (2) minutes to evacuate that dwelling. Only two (2) minutes to get a family out of the dark, smoke-filled building and outside to safety. That includes children and older folks who might have to use a walker. Precious seconds lost could mean lives lost. They believe that having working smoke alarms, along with a fire safety checklist and a practiced fire escape route are the best protection residents can have. They encourage people to not only lay out an escape route but to practice escaping until each person knows what to do immediately if a fire should start and can get out within two minutes.

According to information from the American Red Cross, in the past 12 months, Red Cross has provided fire safety information and smoke alarm protection to 488 homes using 1403 alarms in the counties of Clark, Garland, Hot Spring, Pike, Howard, Hempstead and now Little River.

Any communities interested in obtaining the free smoke alarms for their residents should contact Don Dailey, American Red Cross Volunteer, 2259 N. Highway 171, Malvern, AR 72104 at 501-304-5172 or email dondailey@gmail.com.