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Volunteers Canvas Cleveland's Slavic Village Installing Smoke Alarms for Free

photo of Angelo Calvillo
Cleveland Fire Chief Angelo Calvillo joined the department in 1989. In 1992, the city began the 'Sound the Alarm' program to install free smoke detectors. The American Red Cross took the program national in 2014.

Dozens of homes in Cleveland are a little safer following the American Red Cross annual “Sound The Alarm” event to install free smoke alarms.

About 100 volunteers spent Saturday canvassing door-to-door in Slavic Village, offering to install smoke detectors -- in any home -- with sealed batteries that are good for 10 years.  It’s a program that has been offered in different parts of Cleveland since 1992, and went national in 2014.   Fire Chief Angelo Calvillo said in that time, the number of house fire deaths in the city has plunged by about 60 percent.

“I’ve been on those calls at three-o-clock-in-the-morning where they didn’t have a working smoke alarm – or the battery’s out – and you have fatalities.  And I’ve been at those fires where you had a smoke alarm and they said, ‘hey, we’re all out.  We’re alive.  We’re well.’  So, it’s making a difference.”

“Sound The Alarm” will also take place in Akron on Tuesday and Thursday, and Youngstown-Warren on Saturday.

A searchable list of the events is here.

Kabir Bhatia is a senior reporter for Ideastream Public Media's arts & culture team.