NEW ORLEANS – The holiday season is the time of year the American Red Cross sees the most house fires. With that in mind, the organization went house to house on Saturday trying to keep everyone a bit safer.

More than a week ago, a father and son died in a fire on Orion Avenue. Fire fighters say there were no working smoke alarms in their apartment.

That made neighbors like Gary think about their smoke alarms that were not working.

“We found out that there were some fatalities and it got us all kind of nervous, and so my wife and I were talking about it and we were like we really need to do something about the smoke alarms,” Gary Hanford, smoke alarm recipient, said.

Then volunteers with the American Red Cross knocked on his door.

“They told us that they would install these smoke alarms. My first thought is what is this going to cost me? There's got to be some catch to it,” he said.

But there wasn’t a catch at all. The American Red Cross also gave Gary and Holly a fire escape plan and installed the new smoke alarms.

The couple says they feel safer having a working smoke detector in their home.

“I would say to anyone who is skeptical about this, to open your eyes and open your door, and let the helpers in. It's a great service and it will be beneficial in the end,” Holly Hanford said.

Gary Hanford said it was the best Christmas surprise.

“The timing was perfect. I didn't know what do with my alarms. I didn't know if I was going to get an electrician, or why it wasn't working. So, it was perfect timing,” he said.

For more information or to request a smoke alarm, click here.