JOHNSON CITY, Tenn. (WJHL)- The American Red Cross held its Sound the Alarm volunteer event today. Around 40 volunteers ranging from ETSU students to long time Red Cross volunteers came to participate.

The event included groups installing free 10-year smoke alarms for people that are in need of new ones. Heather Carabajal is the Executive director for the Red Cross in Northeast Tennessee and said that each volunteer group serves a specific purpose.

“The first is of course the equipment, making sure people have safe working smoke alarms in their home that if the alarms are over ten years old they have the opportunity to replace them for free,” said Carabajal. “The other part is the education, making sure that people know how to get out safely if there is a house fire.”

Volunteers installed smoke alarms while also helping families create a safe fire escape plan in case of emergencies. Carabajal said that in most fire events a person only has two minutes to get out safely.

“We started this program as a national initiative in 2014 to help reduce the number of fire fatalities and fire injuries,” said Carabajal. “Every seven minutes somebody loses their life to a house fire and we want to change that.”

The Red Cross wants to ensure that the community has proper smoke detectors but also that they are safe in case of emergencies.

“We want to make sure that families have the resources that they need,” said Carabajal. “And that they have the education that they need and that they created and practiced a fire safety plan.”

If you are interested in volunteering for the Red Cross you can visit them at their website.