In 2016, 175 volunteers from the American Red Cross, Orange County Fire Authority (OCFA), the City of Santa Ana, and other community partners installed a record 1,166 free smoke alarms for residents in Santa Ana’s Central City neighborhood.

The installation event was part of the nationwide Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, which aims to reduce fire-related deaths and injury by 25 percent by 2020.

Volunteers at this event came from a diverse array of organizations: American Red Cross Desert to the Sea Region, Orange County Fire Authority, the City of Santa Ana, Santa Ana CERT (Community Emergency Response Team), OCFA Fire Academy Classes 40, 41, and 42, Santa Ana Community College, Second Baptist Church, local high school groups, and OCFA Fire Academy Explorers.

“An event this large can only happen with the great community partners,” said Linda E. Voss, chief executive officer, American Red Cross Desert to the Sea Region. “We are so proud to have held this event with OCFA. Our partnership helps us expand our reach in keeping families safe.”

Santa Ana’s FMC Lugar de Gracia y Amor Church graciously offered their space as the rally point for the day’s activities. Volunteers were split into 45 teams. Each small team included a smoke alarm installer, an educator, a documenter, and a safety observer. Most teams had a Spanish-speaking team member who served as an interpreter.

At the end of the installation event, volunteers reflected on their record-setting accomplishments. “It’s important to give back to the community,” said Jerome Williams, a smoke alarm installer on one of the teams.

“Smoke alarms save lives,” said Voss. “It was an honor to be here today installing smoke alarms and educating residents on home fire safety. It’s all about keeping people safe.”