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  • Writer's pictureNEIA Red Cross

Students Sound the Alarm on Apartment Fire Safety

Updated: Sep 23, 2022

By Ashley Peterson-DeLuca

On a cloudy Saturday morning, a group of high school and college-age student volunteers mobilized to knock on every one of the 164 doors in an Iowa City apartment complex to offer to check their smoke alarms and share fire safety information.

The previous week they had left flyers to let residents know they would be stopping by.

This week the volunteers were armed with a supply of free AA batteries, education materials and determination. In pairs of two, the volunteers knock on apartment doors. If residents didn’t answer or weren’t up for chatting before they had a cup of coffee, the volunteers left a bag with information about fire safety.

Many residents were friendly and appreciated the offer of help. Volunteers spoke about how to be fire safe, and if invited inside, checked to make sure that the fire alarms worked.

The volunteers’ efforts may save a life. Home fires claim seven lives every day, but having working smoke alarms can cut the risk of death by half.

Visit to learn more about the Home Fire Campaign and to register for the “Homes Made Safer” education and request a smoke alarm.

To learn how you can help make a difference in your community, let us know you’re interested in becoming a Red Cross volunteer by visiting

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