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Farmers Insurance Helps Red Cross Reduce Home Fire Deaths

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"This is a good example how we're working with community partners to reduce deaths from home fires."

Farmers Insurance employees and Monroe High School Junior ROTC members were part of a large contingent of 230 Red Cross volunteers who made one Van Nuys neighborhood safer on March 19. 

The public and private sector coalition installed over 690 free smoke alarms in Van Nuys homes that did not previously have the life-saving devices. The effort was part of the Red Cross L.A. Region’s Home Fire Prevention Campaign which aims to reduce home fire deaths and injuries. 

Bill Walrath, Head of Southern California Farmers and Red Cross L.A. Board Member, was one of 70 Farmers’ agents and employees who spent their Saturday morning visiting homes, checking existing alarms, installing new alarms if needed, and providing fire safety information to residents. Forty-five primarily bilingual (Spanish and English-speaking) students from North Hill’s Monroe High School Junior ROTC helped bridge the gap between volunteers and Spanish speaking residents who needed translation assistance. 

Representatives from the offices of Senator Bob Hertzberg, Assemblyman Nazarian, County Supervisor Sheila Kuehl, LA Mayor Garcetti and City Councilmember Nury Martinez also attended the kick-off event to support the Red Cross’ efforts to assist some of the Region’s most vulnerable communities. 

Across town in the city of Paramount that same morning, a smaller, but mighty group of 40 volunteers from the Long Beach/Rio Hondo Chapter installed an impressive 183 fire alarms.

“We have made great progress in our efforts to reduce the number of injuries and deaths due to home fires and this past weekend was an outstanding example of how we are working with community partners to make this happen,” said Jarrett Barrios, L.A. Region CEO. 

Between the two events, the Red Cross installed 900 alarms, which brings its running total to approximately 4,200 fire alarms installed since July 1, 2015. For more information about the Home Fire Campaign, please visit http://www.redcross.org/local/los-angeles/home-fire-campaign