Red Cross goes door-to-door to install smoke alarms

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PARKERSBURG, W.Va.-(WTAP) The people going door-to-door in area neighborhoods Tuesday were not salesmen. They're door-to-door lifesavers.

They're volunteers for the American Red Cross, installing smoke alarms in the homes of eligible residents.

The free installation is part of a national campaign by the Red Cross.

One of the local sponsors held a similar event last year in Bridgeport, West Virginia.

"We saw great success from that, and wanted to bring that same opportunity to our community that we serve in Parkersburg," says Samantha Norris, Spokeswoman, Dominion Energy. "One smoke alarm, if that can save one family, it makes everything we've done worth it."

Tuesday's goal was to install 500 smoke alarms, as many as three to a home, throughout Wood and Wirt Counties.

"That's nothing, though, compared to what we hope to do on Saturday, which is closer to 1,000 smoke alarms," according to Sharon Kesselring, Executive Director, Red Cross of the River Cities. "And that's going to be a huge deal if we're able to pull that off."

Dominion and Erie Insurance donated a total of $35,000 to buy the devices, valued at about $10 each. Volunteers also provided advice on fire safety and how to escape a home hit by fire.

"It's also providing knowledge," Norris says. "How to make your home better prepared in case of a fire. That knowledge, paired with the resource, is a great impact to make our community safer."

To request a smoke alarm installation for Saturday's drive, call (304) 485-7316.