On the morning of Dec. 16, Fire Protection District No. 1 of West Feliciana Parish and nearly two dozen volunteers installed 53 smoke alarms in 25 homes along Blackmore Road and Canfield Road in St. Francisville.

That included the Blackmore Road home of Colemoen Barrow, where damage from a kitchen fire last year is still evident. 

Barrow's grandson was boiling eggs on the stove when the pot began to boil over and caught fire, spreading quickly into the wall and ceiling. The fire was extinguished by Fire Protection District No. 1 but did cause significant damage to the walls and ceiling between the kitchen and dining room. Barrow did not have smoke alarms installed in his home at the time of the fire.

Three smoke alarms were installed in his home during the recent program.

A similar event was held at the same time in Eden Park in Baton Rouge. 

Red Cross volunteers went door to door offering to install free smoke alarms, to replace expired batteries in smoke alarms free of charge and to help residents create escape plans in the event of a fire.

For homes along these streets where a resident was not home during the event, a door hanger was left with a phone number for them to call should they want to request that a free smoke alarm be installed at a later date. In addition to checking the functionality of smoke alarms in each home, and installing new ones where they were needed, each home received a dry erase home fire escape plan to use in creating their families' home fire plan.

The Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, launched in October 2014, is a nationwide initiative to reduce deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent, a news release said. As of Oct. 1, the Red Cross and its partners have helped save 268 lives and installed more than 887,000 smoke alarms nationwide. Since 2015, 11 lives have been saved in South Louisiana as a result of the campaign.