The Lafayette Fire Department and the American Red Cross teamed up on Saturday to knock on doors and put smoke detectors in homes free of charge.
The initiative after a fire in September on Hayes Street left one person dead. That home did not have any smoke detectors to warn the family.
Home by home, the team took old smoke detectors and left new ones with families. Thankful for their new detectors, several families expressed their gratitude for a new sense of safety and security.
“I’m happy they came and put smoke detectors in the house. Other people need them, too,” Sharon Anderson said.
Some families had no smoke detectors while others had grown accustomed to the beeping noises, warning them of low batteries.
“I’m happy they put some detectors in the house. We had some in there, but they were old, and that helps a lot because I’ve seen too many fires,” another Hayes Street resident said.
When one street was complete, the teams canvassed several more. Their goal was to ensure every family had time to get out of their home in case of a fire.
Alton Trahan, the public information officer for the Lafayette Fire Department, took part in the event.
“It’s not only the damage to the home we deal with. It’s potential of injury and fatality. As you know, within the area we are hitting, we did have a fatality. It’s sad because once we get there and we do our job, we realize we have a fatality. It really worsens when we do an investigation, and it wasn’t a working smoke alarm,” Trahan said.
The teams targeted 257 homes, reaching 66 homes and installed a total of 126 smoke alarms.
Red Cross will hold another event in January in Lafayette. They will also team up with the fire department again in late April or early May to do their biggest canvas yet.