SIDNEY — Seven times a day, someone dies in a home fire in the United States. On Thursday, June 11, the Northern Miami Valley Ohio (NMVO) Chapter of the American Red Cross is trying to change that in Sidney.

From 3 to 7 p.m., volunteers will be going door to door, visiting northeast Sidney homes, checking smoke alarm batteries, installing smoke alarms and testing the alarms for free. The volunteers also will be teaching fire safety and helping families come up with an evacuation plan if a fire were to occur. The chapter is hoping to visit 200 homes, install 150 smoke alarms, and help over 50 families develop a practiced evacuation plan in an effort to minimize the loss caused by home fires.

“The best way to escape a home fire is to know the home is on fire,” says NMVO Executive Director Lynne Gump, “and the best way to know if there is a fire is to have a working smoke alarm.”

This event is being done in partnership with Emerson Climate Technologies Co., which is providing 20 volunteers who will be installing the smoke alarms.

“Canvassing homes, installing alarms, educating families are the key points of this campaign and we can’t do this without our volunteers and partners,” Gump said.

Interested companies, churches and organizations who would like to participate in future events should contact the Sidney Red Cross office at 937-492-6151 for information. People interested in volunteering can either call the office or begin their American Red Cross volunteering at

The effort is part of a larger Home Fire Preparedness Campaign created by the American Red Cross with the aim of reducing deaths and injuries from home fires by 25 percent before the time the campaign ends in 2020. The event in Sidney will be the first blitz of the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign within the Northern Miami Valley area. To date, the American Red Cross has developed more than 15,000 household fire escape plans nationally, installed 34,000 smoke alarms and replaced 6,000 smoke alarm batteries. At least seven lives have been saved as a result of this campaign.