In this file photo from 2018, Kristen Simas, center, American Red Cross disaster program manager, assigns volunteer teams to install free smoke alarms and provide home fire safety education to residents of Dover-Foxcroft. The partnership of the Red Cross, Emera Maine and the Dover-Foxcroft Fire Department aims to reduce home fire deaths and injuries. Credit: Courtesy of American Red Cross Maine

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In Maine alone, Red Cross volunteers have responded to 83 devastating fires since Jan. 1.

What’s more, home fires claim seven lives a day in our country — but a working smoke alarm can cut the risk of death by half.

To help keep families safe, the Red Cross Northern and Eastern Maine Chapter are going to be in the Greater Bangor on April 30 to install 123 free smoke alarms for vulnerable households in Bangor, Brewer, Hampden, Hermon, Veazie, Glenburn and Orono as part of a national Sound the Alarm effort to install 50,000 free smoke alarms in at-risk neighborhoods across the country.

Sound the Alarm events like these are truly lifesaving — and at the heart of our national Home Fire Campaign, which has helped save at least 1,243 lives.

If people live in the Greater Bangor area and need assistance, they can visit to schedule an appointment for a free smoke alarm installation during this event. During a 20-minute home visit, volunteers will also share information on the causes of home fires, how to prevent them, what to do if a fire starts and how to create an escape plan. Thanks to our generous donors, all services are free to those in need. Help by donating to the Red Cross at

Lara Clark

Board member

American Red Cross

Northern and Eastern Maine Chapter