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State Fire Marshal’s Office and Red Cross partner to install smoke alarms in Dixon homes

“Sound the Alarm” program encourages residents to plan home escape routes and test smoke alarms monthly

Santa Fe, NM – Today, representatives from the State Fire Marshal’s Office are partnering with the American Red Cross and local firefighters to install smoke alarms in dozens of homes across Dixon (see attached photo). This effort parallels the Red Cross’s Sound the Alarm initiative, which aims to educate residents on the importance of well-maintained smoke alarms. According to the National Fire Protection Association, nearly 60% of home fire deaths occur in homes with no smoke alarm or smoke alarms that fail to operate.

While members of the Red Cross physically install smoke detectors in Dixon, state fire officials will hold a series of “doorstep presentations” discussing the most common causes of home fires, the need for personalized escape plans, and other critical safety advice.

“”It IS important to have smoke alarms,” said Dixon resident Joe Medina (see attached photo). “We have a wood stove, have had it for twenty years to heat the house in the winter, and it makes us feel more secure when we’re asleep at night.”

“Rio Arriba County Fire & Emergency Services, along with the Dixon Fire Department and EMS, are very appreciative for the collaborative efforts with the New Mexico State Fire Marshal’s Office, the Fire Support Bureau, and the Red Cross,” said Rio Arriba County Fire Chief Alfredo Montoya. “The community and homeowners would like to say thank you for your great effort in this event – your time and dedication will not go overlooked.”

“Home fires are the primary disaster that the Red Cross supports,” said Red Cross Disaster Specialist Lucas Brooks. “They happen all the time right in our communities. It’s simple, smoke alarms save lives!”

Sound the Alarm emphasizes two simple steps that can help prepare families for home fires (para español, visite ActivaTuAlarma.org):

1) Practice a two-minute fire drill at least twice a year

  • Everyone in your household should know two ways to escape from each room in your home.
  • In a real fire, remember to get out, stay out and call 911. Never go back inside for people, pets, or things.

2) Test your smoke alarms monthly

  • You should hear three beeps, letting you know the alarm is working.
  • Don’t hear the beeps? Then it’s time to change the batteries, if your model requires them.
  • If your smoke alarm is 10 years old, it’s time to get a new alarm because the sensor becomes less sensitive over time.

“Our team is happy to offer this support to the residents of Dixon,” said Interim State Fire Marshal John Kondratick. “Working smoke alarms are one of the simplest and most costeffective ways to prevent home fire deaths. That is why we’re working to expand this effort to a statewide initiative that targets rural and underserved communities across New Mexico.” 

A group of people at indoor event
Two men standing inside a home

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DHSEM works to protect the people of New Mexico and the nation through a comprehensive and coordinated program of mitigating hazards, preparing for emergencies, preventing attacks, and recovering from disasters