Education and Free Installation
Seven people die in home fires every day and most deaths are due to non-working smoke alarms, according to the American Red Cross.
State Farm® partnered with the Red Cross on a campaign to educate citizens across the United States on fire safety and install free smoke alarms. Along with local fire departments and other community partners, more than 100,000 smoke alarms were installed in homes across the country.
Ashleigh Brucker has always had a passion for public safety and education. While in college, she interned with the Champaign Fire Department as safety educator.
“I really love the parts of State Farm that are community driven, people driven and focused on making life go right, so when I saw this opportunity to volunteer I immediately signed up,” the State Farm employee in Bloomington, Ill., says.
During the event, volunteers were divided into small groups with one person focused on getting the household details, one person giving safety information and the others checking current smoke alarms or installing new alarms.
Ashleigh took charge of the education portion for her group. The education packets included a checklist about fire safety such as cooking safety and electrical safety, planning escape routes and how and when to check your smoke alarms to ensure they are working correctly.
“It was so awesome that people were willing to open their doors to us,” Ashleigh says. “We often don’t take time out of our busy lives to think about these things.”
Through 426 Sound the Alarm events, with at least one organized in each state, 43,008 homes were made safer with the help of 30,859 volunteers.
Sonja Campbell-Jones, a State Farm employee in Dunwoody, Ga., used the opportunity to network in her new community. “I consider myself a new Georgia resident, even though I’ve been here for five years. I saw this as a great way to get involved and give back to communities at risk,” she says.
Volunteers canvassed at-risk neighborhoods during their events and found many people to be open and appreciative of the services.
Shakema Green, who works for State Farm in Richardson, Texas, and her 16-year-old daughter, Micaiah, often volunteer together.
“I want her to see through volunteering how other families are in different situations,” Shakema says of bringing her daughter to volunteer events. “No one wants to be down and out; no one wants to be in need. If it was me, I’d want someone to help me or educate me. So, it’s me teaching her to not take for granted what you have and to not look down on others who don’t.”
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