Catholic Charities and American Red Cross partner to install more than 300 smoke alarms

July 29, 2019 at 12:37 p.m.
Catholic Charities and American Red Cross partner to install more than 300 smoke alarms
Catholic Charities and American Red Cross partner to install more than 300 smoke alarms


Nearly 200 Ocean County households in which senior citizens reside, are safer thanks to having smoke alarms installed at no cost through a partnership established in 2016 between Catholic Charities’ Fix It Program and the American Red Cross New Jersey Region.

“Working smoke alarms reduce home fire deaths by 50 percent, said Kristee Lauro, disaster program manager, American Red Cross New Jersey Region. “We are pleased to work with Catholic Charities as our partners with the Home Fire Campaign to help make New Jersey families safer.”    

According to John McCrone, Fix It Program volunteer supervisor, “Only 60 percent of these 190 homes had a working smoke alarm so the installations will significantly improve fire safety for our clients, who are typically older than 70 and lack mobility.”

McCrone added, “Fix It receives many requests for help to replace smoke alarm batteries. The alarms provided from the American Red Cross contain 10-year batteries which will reduce the amount of service calls, allowing us to focus on providing other types of assistance.”

To date, a total of 601 smoke alarms have been installed through this partnership since May 2016.

McCrone noted that recent smoke alarm installation took place in the home of a woman who had fallen and broken her hip. “The request was to install a grab bar but when the Fix It volunteer, Fred Bahr, went in to install it he checked her smoke alarms,” said McCrone. “This is a routine practice of Fix It volunteers. Noticing her batteries had expired, he replaced the alarms with those from the American Red Cross. This couldn't be a better story about how our two organizations are collaborating to serve those most in need.”

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Nearly 200 Ocean County households in which senior citizens reside, are safer thanks to having smoke alarms installed at no cost through a partnership established in 2016 between Catholic Charities’ Fix It Program and the American Red Cross New Jersey Region.

“Working smoke alarms reduce home fire deaths by 50 percent, said Kristee Lauro, disaster program manager, American Red Cross New Jersey Region. “We are pleased to work with Catholic Charities as our partners with the Home Fire Campaign to help make New Jersey families safer.”    

According to John McCrone, Fix It Program volunteer supervisor, “Only 60 percent of these 190 homes had a working smoke alarm so the installations will significantly improve fire safety for our clients, who are typically older than 70 and lack mobility.”

McCrone added, “Fix It receives many requests for help to replace smoke alarm batteries. The alarms provided from the American Red Cross contain 10-year batteries which will reduce the amount of service calls, allowing us to focus on providing other types of assistance.”

To date, a total of 601 smoke alarms have been installed through this partnership since May 2016.

McCrone noted that recent smoke alarm installation took place in the home of a woman who had fallen and broken her hip. “The request was to install a grab bar but when the Fix It volunteer, Fred Bahr, went in to install it he checked her smoke alarms,” said McCrone. “This is a routine practice of Fix It volunteers. Noticing her batteries had expired, he replaced the alarms with those from the American Red Cross. This couldn't be a better story about how our two organizations are collaborating to serve those most in need.”

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