When I was 11 years old, my father was badly burned in a house fire at our home in Abilene, Texas.  When she was a sophomore in high school, my wife's home in Bells, Texas, was completely destroyed and all her family's possessions lost in a house fire. I've always found this a strange coincidence since my wife and I didn't meet until years later in Lufkin, Texas.  Suffice it to say that we both know the upheaval and turmoil that fire can wreak on a family.

Both of these fires occurred before the invention of the home smoke alarm which has saved countless lives and homes.  According to the U.S. Fire Administration, there were 3,362 deaths caused by home fires in 2015.  That marks a 21.6% decrease in the fire death rate per 1 million population since 2006.

Robtronics.com reports that the presence of a smoke alarm cuts the risk of dying from a fire in half.  Between 2003 and 2006 about two-thirds of home fire deaths occurred in homes with no smoke alarms or non-working alarms.

With these statistics in mind, the American Red Cross of Northwest Louisiana is continuing its Sound the Alarm campaign.  The goal is to install 1,000 smoke alarms in high-risk neighborhoods throughout Shreveport/Bossier.  Volunteers will be going door-to-door over the next few weeks offering to install free smoke alarms in selected neighborhoods.  Here are the dates and areas involved:

Wednesday, September 27th

  • Airport neighborhood (Hollywood/ W. 70th area, Shreveport)
  • East Highland Mobile Home Park (954 Ferndale Blvd, Haughton

Saturday, September 30th

  • Pepper Point Park (6219 E. Texas, Bossier)
  • Hay Meadow (Benton Road, Bossier)

Wednesday, October 4th

  • Barksdale Annex/ Jacks Quarter (Barksdale Annex, Bossier)
  • Texas Street Bridge Area (Texas Street/ Hamilton Road, Bossier)

Saturday, October 7th

  • Forest Mobile Home Park (6201 Bert Kouns, Shreveport)
  • Blue Ridge Estates (6900 Buncombe Road, Shreveport)

Wednesday, October 11th

  • Martin Luther King neighborhood (Market Street/ MLK Drive, Shreveport)