A sweeping effort to prevent fire-related deaths in Western and Central New York will kick off this weekend.  

Sound the Alarm is the American Red Cross' effort to install 100,000 free smoke alarms. Over the next two weeks, volunteers will go door-to-door installing alarms and teaching people about fire safety. 

“You’re going to be in homes with the opportunity to talk to people in the home and raise that awareness of what are you going do to get you and your family out,” said Rochester City Fire Marshal Christine Schryver.

  • ​A home on Monroe Avenue was destroyed in a 3-Alarm fire.
  • A firefighter was rescued from a 4-Alarm fire on Monroe Avenue.
  • An elderly woman died in a house fire on Langham Street.

The Rochester area has seen its share of massive fires in recent weeks. That's why Schryver is reiterating how important it is to have an escape plan in case of a fire and to communicate clearly with 911 and first responders. 

“If we know where somebody is that does need help being rescued, we can get to that person with proper communication,” Schryver said.

Several community leaders were in attendance at the Red Cross launch event on Monday, including Greater Rochester Chamber President Robert Duffy and Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo. 

“To have major corporations donating or volunteering their time, it is a fantastic thing and it’s about saving lives and about educating people,” said Duffy.

“So when we are thinking about sounding the alarm, we’re thinking about conversations that we can have at our dinner table tonight, at our schools today to talk about the importance of fire safety,” Dinolfo added.

Organizers say fires kill more people in a typical year in the U.S. than all other natural disasters combined. They believe "Sound the Alarm" will help prevent some of those deaths. ​

To learn more about the initiative and how you can help, click here.