More than 80 American Red Cross volunteers, L.A. firefighters and community partners joined together April 25 to save lives in the Valley Glen area of Los Angeles, which is highly impacted by home fires. By going door to door, engaging with neighbors, making fire escape plans and installing more than 250 free smoke alarms, team members aimed to make not just a long-lasting impression but a life-changing visit.
“We recommend two easy steps to increase chances of surviving a home fire: have working smoke alarms and create home fire escape plans” said Jarrett Barrios, CEO, American Red Cross Los Angeles Region.
According to the Los Angeles Fire Department, in the first few months of 2015, there have been four fatalities in home fire-related incidents. In the past 12 months, the Red Cross has provided services to 1,634 people in the L.A. Region affected by home fires.
Peter Sanders, Public Information Director for the Los Angeles Fire Department, said, “Smoke alarms save lives and it’s an easy step for Angelenos to make sure their homes have working smoking alarms to help survive a potentially deadly blaze.”
Statistics show that seven people die per day in a home fire in the United States. In response, the American Red Cross has launched the nationwide Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, which aims to reduce the number of fire related injuries and deaths by 25 percent in the next five years.
As part of the Home Fire Campaign, the American Red Cross partners with local fire departments, as well as community leaders, members of local CERT and Disaster Advisory Councils in all of the United Stated to educate communities on fire safety and install free smoke alarms.
Since October of 2014, the American Red Cross has installed nationwide more than 50,000 smoke alarms, replaced more than 8,700 batteries and helped communities make more than 23,000 home fire escape plans nationwide.
Photo by Henry Nahn