ROANOKE, Va (WFXR) — According to the American Red Cross, house fires can claim as many as seven lives every day across America. However, something as simple as having a working smoke detector can cut that number in half.

Roanoke Fire-EMS and the Salem Fire EMS Department teamed up with the American Red Cross to “Sound the Alarm” on Saturday, March 18. It’s an annual program sponsored by the American Red Cross, which assists fire departments in all 50 states install free smoke detectors in any home that may need them.

Salem Fire and EMS Chief, John Prillaman, says early detection can be life-saving when it comes to house fires.

“It is a chance for us to get out in the community and make sure people have working smoke detectors, we have seen this program actually save a family of one of the smoke detectors we put in, so very important to get out and see the citizens,” said Chief Prillaman.

The Sound the Alarm program is part of the American Red Cross’s Home Fire Campaign and was launched in 2014. Since the organization says teams have installed more than 2.5 million free smoke alarms and made 1 million homes safer across the country. With the goal to install 12,000 smoke alarms across the Virginia region in March, American Red Cross hopes that these efforts will help reduce deaths and injuries caused by house fires.

The American Red Cross says you should be checking your smoke detectors monthly and make a fire escape plan with your family so everyone knows what to do in case of a fire emergency.

If you don’t have smoke detectors or cannot afford one, you can request one on the American Red Cross website.