The Red Cross will Install Smoke Detectors for Pampa Residents FREE in November


The Red Cross is asking Pampa residents to sign up for the free smoke-detector installation they will be doing in November.

Program manager Betsy Cornette and her volunteer partner, Charley Birch, stopped by The Pampa News to share details about the program and how to sign up.

“This year the Red Cross will hit the 50,000 number of smoke detectors installed in homes throughout the country since we enacted this program,” Cornette began.

“So, we’re doing this one a little more celebratory. For the Panhandle, I chose Pampa as the community I would like to help make safer.”

The installation is completely free and there are no monthly obligations to consider.

“The smoke detectors and installation are free. On October 28, we’re going to be going around town and hanging up door-hangers and flyers to get attention from those in the community that need it. They can sign up using the QR Code, the phone number or website on the bottom (of the flyers),” Cornette explained.

“Then we will come on November 11 and do the install. We’ll have groups of two or three and they will go to the houses and install (smoke detectors) in bedrooms and common areas of the homes.”

“They’ll have ten-year lithium ion batteries, so you won’t have to worry about changing a battery every year or every few months. We don’t remove the wired (smoke detectors), we just install new ones. If they (old smoke detectors) are free-standing, we can remove those if the homeowner would like for us to,” she said.

“Our smoke detector installation takes three to five minutes in the home. There is a little bit of paperwork that we ask the homeowner to sign saying how many alarms we installed in the house. It helps with our inventory. The Red Cross tracks the addresses, so if there is ever a fire at those addresses in the future and those smoke detectors work, then we get credited with a life saved. We have 1,770+ lives saved so far nationwide since we started, so we are making a difference. This makes a difference.”

The Red Cross doesn’t cap how many installations can be done, and so they will be looking for volunteers to help with installations and other small jobs soon.

“In that respect, we have jobs like checking in equipment when people get back or handing out smoke detectors before they leave,” she said.

“We also have jobs that are more physical like driving, walking, climbing the ladders and installing.”

Cornette warns of the danger of not changing smoke detectors regularly, even if they are wired into the home’s electrical system.

“The problem with wired smoke-detectors is that the sensor that senses heat wears out. So even if you have it wired in so you don’t have to mess with the battery, and it’s more than eight years old, that sensor is not going to pick up smoke anyway. Anyone that has a wired smoke-detector needs to be aware of that,” she said.

To sign up to be a volunteer or to have a smoke detector installed in your home, you can call 806-376-6300, visit or scan the QR code attached to this article.