Newburgh residents can sign up for a free smoke alarm installation from the Hudson Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross and community partners on Saturday, May 14. Organizers are planning to make 120 homes safer by installing a total of 360 smoke alarms and sharing fire safety information with families.

“Our goal is to save lives,” said John Vale, executive director of the Hudson Valley Chapter. “In the past year, we responded to nearly 150 home fires across the Hudson Valley. That’s why we want to make sure everyone has working smoke alarms, which can cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half.” 

The Eastern New York region is also hosting smaller, community events in the Albany area and Amsterdam on May 7 and Plattsburgh and East Syracuse on May 15.

Residents who need assistance can visit to schedule an appointment for a free smoke alarm installation during the Red Cross Sound the Alarm events. During the 20-minute home visits, Red Cross volunteers will also share information on the causes of home fires, how to prevent them, what to do if a fire starts and how to create an escape plan. 

“Most people don’t realize they only have two minutes to escape a home fire — and that smoke alarms need to be replaced every 10 years,” Vale said. “Taking action with this knowledge can be the difference between survival and tragedy.” 

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED Register at to join this rewarding day of giving back. No prior experience is needed — training will be provided. You can also make a financial donation to the Red Cross to help people prepare for, respond to and recover from home fires. 

NEWBURGH JOINS NATIONAL SOUND THE ALARM EFFORT This signature Sound the Alarm event is part of a national Red Cross initiative in May to install 50,000 free smoke alarms with partners in more than 50 at-risk communities across the country. Sound the Alarm events are a critical part of the national Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, which has helped save more than 1,240 lives, including 26 in Eastern New York, since launching in October 2014. As part of the campaign in Eastern New York, the Red Cross and local partners have installed nearly 36,0000 free smoke alarms and made more than 15,200 households safer.