RIO GRANDE VALLEY, Texas (ValleyCentral) — Preventing fires and saving lives is the mission of the American Red Cross initiative and aiming at raising awareness on house fires across the Valley. 

The Red Cross is reminding Rio Grande Valley residents about their home fire campaign.

The initiative entails installing free smoke alarms in homes that don’t have them and also serves in educating people about fire safety.

“Our mission is to save lives, at the end of the day, to help people in times of a disaster situation,” said Alex Garcia, Senior Disaster Program Manager Red Cross South Texas.

The American Red Cross says house fires claim seven lives every day, but having a working smoke alarm can cut the risk of death by half.

That’s why the Red Cross is rallying volunteers to install free smoke alarms nationwide.

“They register that they’d like to have a smoke alarm installation, we then tag it based on our availability, and then we provide the smoke alarms free of charge to the client,” Garcia said.

While volunteers are installing smoke alarms, they are also showing how to test these alarms and sharing safety information about having a fire escape drill.

“So you know, you’ve got to have those in depth conversations,” Garcia said.

The Red Cross also raises money to help families impacted by fires. 

“It’s about helping people in their time of need, and if we can prevent some of those situations will still be there to support the family. But we want to be sure to save lives as best as we can,” Garcia said.