On Feb. 20, 2016, Red Cross volunteers went door-to-door in three L.A. Region neighborhoods – South L.A., South El Monte and Long Beach – installing more than 500 free smoke alarms in homes as part of the L.A. Region’s Home Fire Prevention Campaign
“This is a record number of smoke alarms installed on a single day,” said Guillermo Sanchez, L.A. Region Preparedness Manager. He credited the strong support and participation of community partners for accomplishing this goal.
In South L.A., 35 volunteers participated, including 20 employees of Dogeared Jewelry, who are first-time volunteers with the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign. The group installed more than 215 alarms in 117 households.
In South El Monte, 54 volunteers installed 192 smoke alarms in 68 homes - helping 250 South El Monte residents. Thanks to community partners Rotary, L.A. County Fire Department, Kiwanis, Red Cross Youth Club members, AMR Ambulance and Tzu Chi.
And in Long Beach, 33 volunteers, including those from four area Red Cross youth clubs, installed 106 smoke alarms in homes at the Windward Village Mobile Home Park and the surrounding neighborhoods. Many of the residents who were assisted are elderly and or disabled and were very grateful.
One volunteer team in South L.A. witnessed first-hand why their work matters.
Just hours before the Home Fire Prevention volunteers began canvassing the South L.A. community, Red Cross disaster volunteers had responded to a home fire in that same neighborhood. The Red Cross provided disaster assistance to one family, but the other family had left the scene. When the second family – a mother and two children - returned to the damaged residence, they ran into some Home Fire installation team volunteers. Disaster volunteers returned to the scene and provided Red Cross assistance to the family.
When the mother was asked how the family was able to survive the 1 a.m. fire, she responded that there was a working smoke alarm in the daughters’ room.
Photos by Roxanne Schorbach from the El Monte installation. See more photos at https://www.flickr.com/photos/redcrosslaregion