Bloomington, IL,
10:52 AM

Guaranteed Peace of Mind

For several people, peace of mind was the main driver behind making an appointment with the American Red Cross to receive free smoke alarms.

“My mom is 82 years old and her smoke detector was not working,” says Barb Fowler, Normal, Ill., resident. “She’s had a stroke since we made the appointment to get it installed. Now we want to get everything in order for her to come home and recover.”

Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events are part of the Home Fire Campaign with the American Red Cross. During a recent effort in Bloomington and Normal, Ill., volunteers worked alongside fire departments and other local groups to canvass at-risk neighborhoods to install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms, educate families about fire prevention and safety and fundraise.

State Farm® partners with the American Red Cross for the Sound the Alarm campaign to educate community members on fire safety while providing a free smoke alarm to help keep them safe in the future. State Farm has provided charitable support to the American Red Cross and chapters throughout the country for the past 30 years, totaling more than $37 million, including investing in the Annual Disaster Giving Program.

State Farm associates volunteered at 51 events in 17 states, installing 10,718 smoke alarms and making 4,853 homes safer this year.

“The video the firefighter presented during training and interactions we had with people throughout the event made me realize how starting a fire and causing mass destruction could happen quickly. But preventing and keeping our families, friends and people in our community safe is a duty for us all,” says Smit Shah, State Farm employee and volunteer.

This year, the American Red Cross' national efforts to install free smoke alarms and educate residents on fire safety have made more than 50,000 households safer. More than 120,000 smoke alarms were installed across more than 100 at-risk communities.

Bev Kilmartin, Normal resident, saw an ad in the local newspaper about the program.

“The batteries went out on my old smoke alarms, and I realized we’d had them for at least 10 years. When I replaced the batteries, I noticed it wasn’t working correctly, so I decided to call and make an appointment,” Bev says.

“As a widow, it gives me a sense of security,” she adds. “If there is this type of program available, we should take advantage of it.”

“Everyone we encountered was friendly and appreciated us coming to assist them with this task,” says Tim Trunnell, State Farm employee and volunteer. “It was a great way to give back to the community and have fun.”

Normal resident Joe Nicklin contacted the Red Cross for an installation appointment because he knew his smoke alarm wasn’t working properly.

“When I light a fire in my fireplace and smoke gets into the house, the alarm doesn’t go off. That made me feel anxious,” he says. “I sleep with a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) machine, so I sleep pretty soundly. I needed some peace of mind.”

“After visiting the homes and installing alarms, it makes you realize how unaware people are of the importance of smoke alarms and how these inexpensive devices can help save a precious life,” Smit says.

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