Volunteers from the American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter recently installed 150 smoke alarms in homes at the South Bay Mobile Home Park in San Jose.
The March 7 event was part of the Red Cross Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, which aims to reduce home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent over the next five years. More than 50 Red Cross volunteers partnered with the South Bay Mobile Home Park management, the San Jose Fire Department and the Tzu Chi Foundation.
“Throughout the day, residents let us know how thankful they were for our help in making sure they are better prepared if a home fire occurred,” said Red Cross Spokeswoman, Pooja Trivedi.
The group was divided into teams consisting of four people. Each team had an educator, documenter, installer and an installer assistant. The team worked to install 10-year fire alarms and replaced batteries in homes. Some team members did double duty and also functioned as translators when needed as 70 percent of the residents in the mobile homes spoke Vietnamese.
Installations were requested either through the management office or by the residents as the teams walked by their locations. Alarms were installed in sleeping areas and in hallways as prescribed by best practices and fire safety regulations.
While the installation team was installing the alarms, the educator worked with the residents to provide them information about fire safety and to show them how they could draw an emergency fire evacuation route on the training material provided.
Residents were also shown how to test the smoke alarms to be certain they were working properly. The team answered any questions the residents had with regard to fire safety. Firefighters were on hand in case the team needed additional support.
The event was well organized and it was clear that the volunteers were helping residents significantly improve their level of home fire preparedness.
Help us help people affected by home fires – #givewhatfiretakes