According to the Sun Journal, the American Red Cross, along with local fire departments have sent out 175 volunteers to offer free smoke alarms to residents of Lewiston, Auburn and Augusta.

We are only three and a half months into 2019 and 9 people in Maine have perished in house fires. Eighteen people died in house fires here in Maine in 2018. This five year program is now in it's third year with a goal of installing 1,000 alarms, most homes need three.

Volunteers and Red Cross officials are going door to door to offer free smoke alarms, check current ones and replace them if need be. They will also go over evacuation plans and provide other fire safety information to residents.

When properly placed, smoke alarms save lives. During most home fires, there is as little as two minutes to escape before being overcome by flames or smoke.

This is a reminder for all of us to check our alarms, batteries and to come up with evacuation plans with our families.