RALEIGH, NC, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (Blue Cross NC) and the American Red Cross today announced that they will be joining forces in a statewide effort aimed at installing 36,000 smoke alarms in homes across North Carolina over the next three years.


  • In North Carolina, a home fire occurs every four hours, or six times a day.
  • In 2017, 83 North Carolinians died from home fires.
  • In January 2018 alone, 17 people in North Carolina lost their lives in a home fire.
  • If installed and maintained properly, a smoke alarm can double a person’s chance of surviving a fire.


Sound the Alarm smoke alarm installation events are part of the American Red Cross’s ongoing Home Fire Campaign, in which Red Cross volunteers and partners visit high-risk neighborhoods to install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms and help families create escape plans. Blue Cross NC is investing $1 million in the effort. The investment is part of Blue Cross NC’s commitment to contribute $50 million toward community health initiatives in 2018.


“Blue Cross NC is proud to support the Red Cross in this important effort to save lives,” said Blue Cross NC President and CEO Patrick Conway. “A crucial part of our quality of life is being able to sleep in peace at night. All homes in North Carolina should have reliable, working smoke alarms that can help prevent unnecessary tragedies. The Home Fire Campaign is a big step toward that goal.”


“Smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a fire in half, that’s why we’re excited about this statewide effort,” said Insurance Commissioner Mike Causey who also serves as the State Fire Marshal. “Too many lives have been lost due to fire and we’re pleased to join forces with the ‘Sound the Alarm’ campaign, which will ultimately save the precious lives of North Carolinians.”


Nationwide, three of every five home fire deaths occur in homes without a smoke alarm or without a working smoke alarm.


“Every day, home fires are responsible for as many as seven deaths and 36 injuries in this country. We want that number reduced. So far, our Red Cross Home Fire Campaign is responsible for saving 416 lives across the U.S.,” said Barry Porter, regional CEO of the Red Cross in Eastern North Carolina. “Because of the generosity of Blue Cross NC, we can continue to reduce the number of home fire deaths in our communities, one smoke alarm at a time.” 


“We know that working smoke alarms in a home cut the risk of death by half, and having an escape plan further improves the odds of survival,” said Angela A. Broome Powley, regional CEO of the Red Cross in Western North Carolina. “Together with Blue Cross NC, our other partners, and our volunteers, we can Sound the Alarm about fire safety and help save lives.”


Since the launch of the Home Fire Campaign in 2014, Red Cross volunteers and members of more than 4,400 partner organizations have installed over 1,100,000 smoke alarms in nearly 12,400 cities and towns in all 50 states, serving more than 1,262,000 people.


The Sound the Alarm campaign will help save lives and lessen the number of tragedies attributed to home fires.


Large Sound the Alarm installation events are scheduled across North Carolina thanks in part to Blue Cross NC.


For more information about Sound the Alarm, or the Red Cross partnership with Blue Cross NC, contact Brittany Jennings at Brittany.Jennings2@redcross.org, or call 910-512-3359 or Jerri Jameson at Jerri.Jameson@redcross.org, or call 980-721-8806.


About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.


About Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina improves the health and well-being of our customers and communities through innovative health care products, insurance, services and information to more than 3.8 million members, including approximately 1 million served on behalf of other Blue Cross and/or Blue Shield plans. Since 1933, we have worked to make North Carolina a better place to live through our support of community organizations, programs and events that promote good health. Blue Cross NC is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. Visit Blue Cross NC online at bcbsnc.com. All other marks are the property of their respective owners.