Sound the Alarm: Saturday September 22, 2017

Next Saturday, I’m trading in my suit and briefcase for a sweatshirt, jeans, and hand tools. Along with a team of my fellow Vermont trial lawyers from across the state, we’re fanning out across Rutland with the Red Cross to install hundreds of free smoke alarms.

I suspect this won’t surprise anyone but smoke alarms save lives. But here in Vermont people still die every year in house fires because they don’t have one. Worse yet is dealing with a death because someone forgets to check the batteries if they do have one.

My group, The Vermont Association for Justice, is teaming up with the Red Cross to “Sound the Alarm” because we live here, too. The good news is that in the last fifteen years the number of statewide deaths have dropped because of fire safety education campaigns and the mandated use of smoke alarms. Since 2000 the number of Vermont fire deaths have dropped to less than ten most years.

But imagine if it was your spouse or child who dies in a fire because there was no smoke alarm. As trial attorneys, we see the pain Vermonters face every day when someone is hurt because another’s carelessness caused an accident.  An accident, that in this case, is virtually preventable if you have a working smoke detector.

That’s why we want to help. As a group, we’ll be going door-to-door installing detectors. We’ll also have free replacement batteries. There is no catch. There is no sales pitch. We live here, too. We want to eliminate fire deaths and we’re proud to be partnering with the Red Cross.

We hope you’ll join us. On Saturday, September 23rd, we’re meeting at the BROC Community Center at 45 Union Street at 8:30 in Rutland.

Come for an hour. Come for the day. Bring your entire office. The only way we can eliminate fire deaths, once and for all, is for everyone to get involved.

We’ll even lend you the hand tools

Andrew B. Delaney is chair of the Public Service Committee of the Vermont Association for Justice. He is a vice president and partner at Martin & Associates in Barre. Attorneys who would like to participate should contact Ron Fox at Biggam, Fox, and Skinner. ( For additional information on the smoke detector giveaway contact the American Red Cross at (800) 464-6692.

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