The American Red Cross has launched a new national campaign to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires by as much as 25 percent over the next five years. The Home Fire Preparedness Campaign seeks to increase the use of smoke alarms in neighborhoods with higher numbers of home fires and to encourage all Americans to practice their fire escape plans.
L.A. Region volunteers and AmeriCorps members started the local campaign by distributing information about smoke alarms in specific South L.A. and North Long Beach neighborhoods.
Teams will return on Oct. 11 to these same areas to test existing smoke alarms and install replacement batteries, or, if needed, install free smoke alarms. In addition, team members can perform a home-safety checklist and develop a brief fire safety plan with residents.
For this initiative, the Red Cross is partnering with the L.A. Fire Dept. as well as houses of worship, businesses, schools, social service agencies, neighborhood leaders and individuals to collect and distribute new alarms.
“Our local volunteers responded to 440 home fires last year, and we know the elderly, disabled, youth and low-income populations are more likely to be impacted by fires in their homes than the general population,” said Jarrett Barrios, Red Cross L.A. Region CEO.
The next major canvassing effort in the L.A. Region will take place on Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service in January.