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Home Fire Preparedness

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On Jan. 31, over 100 volunteers installed smoke detectors in more than 70 homes.

Nearly 300 residents of northwest Pasadena can sleep easier now due to the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, which concluded in the Pasadena area on Jan. 31 with volunteers installing a total of 222 smoke alarms in homes that didn’t have them.

During the first three weeks of January, Red Cross Los Angeles Region volunteers and firefighters canvassed high impact Pasadena neighborhoods, building relationships with the local community and making appointments to install free smoke detectors.

On Jan. 31, more than 100 volunteers from the Red Cross and its community partners met at Pasadena’s Jackie Robinson Park before heading out to install smoke detectors in more than 70 homes and provide residents with critical home fire education. Prior to visiting the homes, several community members took the opportunity to speak to the volunteers.

“Seven people die each day in a home fire in the United States and the rate is increasing,” said Jarrett Barrios, CEO, Red Cross Los Angeles Region. “We are working with fire departments across the country to help reduce home fires and save lives.”

In the past five years in Pasadena, there have been seven home fire fatalities, 18 home fire injuries and 487 home fires.  The Red Cross has provided support to more than 50 families affected by home fires in the Pasadena area.

Lisa Derderian, Public Information Officer, Pasadena Fire Department, also spoke at the gathering, saying, “Smoke detectors are not a luxury, but a vital necessity.”

Other speakers at the Jan. 31 event included Pasadena Vice Mayor Jacque Robinson, local neighborhood leader Carmen Cortez, who joined the Red Cross as a volunteer in January after hearing about the campaign, and Ben Green, executive director, Red Cross San Gabriel Pomona Valley chapter.

“We recommend two easy steps to increase the chance of surviving a home fire: having a working smoke detector and creating a home fire escape plan,” explained Jarrett Barrios.

The American Red Cross launched the nationwide Home Fire Preparedness Campaign in 2014 in response to the alarming number of home fires in the United States. It aims to reduce the number of fire related injuries and deaths by 25 percent in the next five years.

To date, the L.A. Region has conducted campaigns in Pasadena, Long Beach and parts of Los Angeles.

At the end of Saturday’s event, Pasadena Home Fire Prevention partners, supporters and neighborhood residents joined together in Jackie Robinson Park for a fun community picnic, where firefighters grilled hot dogs donated by the Pasadena Fire Union.

The Red Cross would like to thank the following community partners who helped make the Pasadena Home Fire Campaign possible: Firefighters First Credit Union and the Pasadena After Hours Rotary, as well as the efforts and generous time of firefighters and cadets from the Pasadena Fire Department, volunteers from Gabrielino and Los Alamitos High School Red Cross Clubs;  supporters such as the Pasadena Recreation and Parks Foundation, Pasadena Disaster Advisory Council, Pasadena Firefighters Local 809, Pasadena Fire Department CERT, Pasadena Fire Dept. Explorers, Tzu Chi Foundation and Woodbury University.

To see more photos of the Jan. 31 Home Fire Prevention event (taken by Red Cross Volunteers Roxanne Schorbach, Henry Nhan, and Bing Lu). please visit our Facebook page.