PUEBLO — The American Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado is gearing up for fire season by installing free smoke detectors in Pueblo homes. The program is called Sound the Alarm, Save a Life, and started in 2014 as a way to make sure as many people as possible had brand new, working smoke detectors.

Volunteers said they smoke detectors that have a long life and they shouldn’t need their batteries changed for at least ten years.

On Thursday, one of their stops was to the home of Pueblo resident, Marilyn Lile.

“I read a flyer and it was talking about being safe in your home and it just kind of stuck in my head that our smoke alarms were very old,” Lile said.

Volunteers call on a house that requested free fire alarm installations. Credit: Rachel Saurer

She said she made a quick phone call and, soon after, a team of volunteers showed up with their equipment.

“So far, nationwide, we’ve saved over 12-hundred lives and installed tens of thousands of smoke alarms all across the country,” said Bill Fortune, American Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado volunteer of public affairs.

The program is coming to Pueblo this year, where the Red Cross says five out of six people do not have working smoke alarms.

“If you’re not prepared, you’re running the risk,” Fortune said. “And one of the ways you’re going to be prepared is having good smoke alarms. They will offer you fifty-percent more protection about getting out of the home.”

The American Red Cross stressed the importance of being prepared, no matter the situation or circumstance. Credit: Rachel Saurer

The Red Cross says right when you hear the alarm, you should ideally be out of your home in two minutes. It’s not a simple task, so the Red Cross advises people in the home to do fire drills — as well as other important things to remember during a fire, which comes with free smoke detector installation.

“It’s more than just having a smoke alarm in your home and the information she gave me was critical,” Lile said.

Red Cross volunteers also had Lile draw the layout of her home to find possible exits and also plan a meeting place after an evacuation. The Red Cross encourages people to also teach others in the home — and Lile said she was excited to share the information with her grandkids.

Every installation comes with some safety training so the homeowner knows what to do should they have to evacuate. Credit: Rachel Saurer

“Make it a game and make it fun so they’ll enjoy learning how to be safe because that’s the important part here,” Lile said.

The American Red Cross of Southeastern Colorado said they will be out again on Saturday to replace more smoke detectors, but on May 21, Fortune said they will be out in full force tackling hundreds of homes.

If you would like to volunteer or sign up for getting some free smoke detectors, you can find out how by following this link.