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Red Cross, Pittsburgh Fire Bureau program offers free smoke detectors, advice

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Saturday, June 22, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

The American Red Cross and Pittsburgh Fire Bureau kicked off a fire safety program on Saturday, offering free smoke detectors and advice on fire safety to city residents.

The event attracted about 50 people to the Kingsley Center in East Liberty, said Lauren Ashley, a Red Cross spokeswoman.

“It's a program that we hope will provide fire education and preparedness tools for Pittsburgh residents to help them be better prepared for a home fire,” Ashley said.

The program targets city neighborhoods where fires are most prevalent, including Beltzhoover, Knoxville, Hazelwood, East Liberty and Point Breeze.

Pittsburgh Fire Chief Darryl Jones said the department has offered free smoke detectors and installation for years. The Red Cross is providing additional detectors, he said.

“I'm glad to have them,” Jones said. “Smoke detectors are basically the first line of defense in home fire prevention. It's going to benefit the program a great deal.”

Residents can request a detector by calling city's 311 emergency response line.

In addition to smoke detectors, the program offers advice to residents on establishing family fire preparedness plans and kits, Ashley said.

“We respond to fires about once a day and felt residents needed more education,” she said.

Bob Bauder is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-765-2312 or

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