In an effort to promote fire safety, local volunteers installed smoke alarms and provided tips to some Sequim residents as part of the national “Sound the Alarm” program.
For six hours on Oct. 15, Clallam County Red Cross volunteers and some friends worked in Dungeness Meadows to install 63 smoke alarms in 25 homes for 51 residents, according to volunteer Jean Pratschner.
Residents either didn’t have smoke alarms, had older alarms, and/or had difficulty testing and/or adding new batteries in their alarms,” Pratschner said.
“If there’s a fire in a house, these people are gonna have enough notification to get out now,” she said.
The effort was “terrific” and “extremely well organized,” said Jane Martin, a volunteer and Dungeness Meadows Homeowners Association board member.
“No one could believe it was free,” Pratschner said.
Installations were pre-arranged with residents through the Homeowners Association, and volunteers chose Dungeness Meadows — which includes 205 manufactured, mobile and stick-built homes — for the proximity between homes, and age of homes, she said.
“All (residents) were very grateful and helpful,” Pratschner said.
Smoke alarms are donated to the Red Cross from around the country. In Western Washington Red Cross chapters, including Clallam County, volunteers have installed more than 8,000 smoke alarms in recent years with at least two families saved because of installed alarms, Pratschner said.
“It’s worth every minute of doing this project for that,” she said.
Residents also received tips about fire prevention and earthquake preparedness in their homes.
Clallam County Red Cross volunteers previously performed a similar smoke alarm installation day in Carlsborg a few years ago. They partnered with Clallam County Fire District 3, but were unable to partner this time because it ran the same time as the district’s open houses, Pratschner said.
Volunteers included, coordinator Mary Ann Dangman, Pratschner, Mike Richer, Roger Drake, Jay Pitt, Drake Walters, Heather Cheeks, Nancy Elwert, Denise Nielsen, Val and Tim Cullinan, and Martin. Some are not with the Red Cross but helped anyway, Pratschner said.