The Local American Red Cross Teams Up with the Baltimore City Fire Department to make Baltimore Homes Safer by Donating Free Residential Smoke Alarms

Central Maryland Chapter of the American Red Cross

(BALTIMORE – January 11, 2018) – The biggest disaster that in the United States isn’t floods, hurricanes or tornadoes – it’s fires.

The American Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters each year – one every eight minutes – and most of them are home fires.   The Central Maryland Chapter of the American Red Cross locally has responded to 110 home fires since December 3, 2017.

Just this past week, the American Red Cross as part of their partnership with Baltimore City Fire Department, donated a large number of smoke alarms to the Baltimore City Fire Department for them to install in the homes of City residents that need them, in an effort to make Baltimore homes safer and save lives. 

“Home fires can happen quickly – devastating lives and property. Unlike other disasters, most home fires can be prevented.  We’re working with community partners like the Baltimore City Fire Department to install smoke alarms and conduct fire safety education for families in need to help our community be safer and cut down the risk of injury or loss of life”, said Scott R. Salemme, Regional Chief Executive Officer for the Greater Chesapeake Region of the American Red Cross.

Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out.

The Red Cross recommends two simple steps to help protect your home and to increase your chances of surviving a fire: create and practice a fire escape plan, and install and maintain smoke alarms.

  • Home fire plans should include at least two ways to escape from every room of your home.
  • Select a meeting spot at a safe distance from your home where family members can meet after a fire.
  • Discuss the plan with everyone in the household and practice it at least twice a year. Make sure that you practice that plan until every member of your household can escape in less than two minutes.
  • Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half.
  • Place smoke alarms on every level of your home, including inside and outside bedrooms.
  • Test smoke alarms once a month.
  • Teach children what the smoke alarm sounds like and practice escaping your home in two minutes or less.
  • Never disable a smoke alarm.

“In most cases, a smoke alarm is your first line of defense, in the event there is a fire in your home,” said Niles R. Ford, Baltimore City Fire Chief. “The partnership we have with the American Red Cross is exceptional!  With this strong partnership we are able to sustain and provide this free service to the citizens of Baltimore. As always, our number one priority is to make sure people are safe and everyone has lifesaving tools and resources.”

Download the following Red Cross apps from your app store: Our Emergency App has safety tips and a home fire quiz.

The Monster Guard App is a fun, interactive game that teaches children about home safety and fire prevention. Consider installing residential home fire sprinklers. The Red Cross continues to help save lives with our nationwide Home Fire Campaign to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent.

If City residents need smoke alarms, they can dial 3-1-1.

Visit to find out more about how to protect yourself, your loved ones and your home from fire.

Contact your local Red Cross to find out the location of smoke alarm installation events or to volunteer your time.

You can support our campaign and help people affected by disasters, like fires, by donating to support American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Donate by going to, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. • Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

About the American Red Cross Greater Chesapeake Region (

On average the American Red Cross of the Greater Chesapeake Region provides help to Maryland, Delaware and Virginia families four times each day after disasters to include emergency shelter, food, clothing and counseling, thanks to the generosity of financial donors and the commitment of nearly 1,200 volunteers. Each day the Red Cross also provides lifesaving blood to area hospitals, teaches lifesaving skills, and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information or to donate, please visit or Tweet us @RedCrossGCR.