Pittston Fire Department, Red Cross team up to install free smoke alarms

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PITTSTON, LUZERNE COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — Pittston City firefighters made their way into a handful of neighborhoods Saturday morning. The department is working with the Red Cross to prevent disasters from happening.

“An important facet of a person’s home is working smoke alarms. You need them. Be safe. Save your own life,” Bill Goldsworthy, executive director of the American Red Cross of Northeastern PA said.

The Pittston City Fire Department teamed up with the American Red Cross Northeast Pennsylvania chapter to install free smoke alarms for area residents.

“It’s very important to go around and see if people have smoke detectors and have working smoke detectors. A lot of times we’ve been finding out people do have smoke detectors but for some odd reason they neglect the battery and now that smoke detector doesn’t have a working battery and it’s not doing its job,” Pittston Fire Department chief Jim Rooney said.

The effort comes after a fatal fire on Wood Street that left an 11-year-old boy dead last month.

“That was heart-wrenching. Our neighbors lost their 11-year-old son, so I think smoke detectors play a big part and I know they had smoke detectors as well,” Bill Price of Pittston said.

Price is one of many residents who had new smoke detectors installed in his home Saturday morning.

“Saves me from buying batteries every year and they’re a wonderful feature for a home,” Price said.

Volunteers made their way up and down the street for several hours, knocking on doors, offering up the free service. The goal is to save lives.

“We want to reduce home fire deaths by 25 percent across the country. It’s a country-wide program. We’ve installed millions. We’re to two million smoke alarms across the country,” Goldsworthy said.

Here in northeastern Pennsylvania, American Red Cross has assisted in installing more than 12,000 free smoke alarms, over the course of three years.

“Makes you feel great. You walk out of a home you just put smoke alarms in and you think in your mind ‘I may have just saved your life’,” Goldsworthy said.

Firefighters say it’s early detection that can prevent a tragedy. More than 20 volunteers turned out to help with Saturday’s smoke alarm installations.

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