By Makenzie O’Keefe

DENVER (CBS4) – A working smoke detector is the first line of defense in a fire, and the American Red Cross is working to make sure neighborhoods are prepared.

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(credit: Yoon S. Byun/Portland Press Herald via Getty Images)

The Red Cross program called Sound the Alarm has already helped to save over 400 lives that could have been lost when disaster struck. The campaign is part of a nationwide effort to install 100,000 free smoke alarms into communities that have a high fire risk.

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On Thursday, Denver Mayor Michael Hancock will be teaming up with Red Cross volunteers to install alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms and rally to help families in Denver to create an emergency escape plan.

The Red Cross says three out of every five home fire deaths happen inside houses that do not have a working smoke alarm.

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Makenzie O’Keefe joined the CBS4 team as a reporter in 2017. Read her bio, connect with her on Facebook, follow her on Twitter at @makenziepokeefe or email her your story ideas.