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Red Cross needs volunteers to install free smoke alarms in Joliet on Saturday

Need a smoke alarm? Sign up by Friday to receive one.

Help keep Joliet residents safe in the event of a house fire.

Volunteer to install free smoke alarms on Saturday.

The American Red Cross of River Valley Illinois and the Joliet Fire Department will install more than 200 smoke alarms in the Sound the Alarm smoke alarm installation event on Saturday.

The Red Cross wants people who need free smoke alarms to register by Friday at Bit.ly/JolietSTA, said Brian McDaniel, executive director of the Illinois River Valley Chapter.

Volunteers need to be 18. They don’t need previous experience with installing smoke detectors, McDaniel said.

“We provide on-the-job training,” McDaniel said.

To volunteer, visit redcross.org/sound-the-alarm.html.

McDaniel said that every eight minutes, the Red Cross responds to a house fire somewhere in the U.S. In response, the Red Cross provides free smoke alarms year-round, he said.

The River Valley chapter works with the Joliet Fire Department and the East Joliet Fire Protection District to “help make homes safe,” he said. Many of Saturday’s installations will be on Joliet’s east side.

“The fire department consults with us on where they see the most calls, where they see the most need,” McDaniel said. “Some of those communities have older homes and maybe they don’t have smoke detectors.”

McDaniel said St. John the Baptist Church, the Spanish Community Center and the Latino Economic Development Association (all based in Joliet) have been “tremendous partners” in helping the Red Cross serve the Spanish-speaking community.

“We are being much more thoughtful in how we work with communities that are multicultural,” McDaniel said.