BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) — The American Red Cross is working to prevent tragedies by launching its annual Sound the Alarm campaign.

The organization is teaching people about the importance of having a working smoke alarm in their homes.

Red Cross volunteers canvased the Fillmore district on Wednesday, letting people know about the importance of smoke alarms and offering them the chance to get one installed for free in May.

The Sound the Alarm campaign not only gives people access to free smoke alarm installation it also educates about home fire safety.

While installing alarms, volunteers help families create two-minute escape plans.

Over the years they’ve installed thousands of alarms and saved 43 lives.

They say home fires claim seven lives each day in the U.S. and having a working alarm can cut the risk of death from a home fire in half.

The Red Cross installs free smoke alarms all year round, but each year they make an extra push during this campaign.

Volunteers and Buffalo Common Council member Mitch Nowakowski knocked on doors in the Fillmore district getting people signed up to receive a free alarm next month.

“Having a smoke alarm is so simple that there’s no reason no one should have access to it so I think getting out interacting with the people is very important it’s the least thing I can do,” said volunteer David Comstock.

“We also need to grow in our fire safety measures more than just ‘stop drop and roll’ in kindergarten we need to make sure that we’re also implementing fire safety plans and making those that are seniors and those with disabilities understand how to exit their home safely during a fire,” Nowakowski said.

Buffalo Red Cross volunteers responded to 390 incidents last year alone, majority of them were home fires. They helped 655 families.

Anyone interested in a free smoke alarm can find the information here.

The installation event is happening May 7.

Kayla Green is a reporter who has been part of the News 4 team since 2021. See more of her work here.