Los Angeles, January 15, 2015 — Seven times per day, someone in this country dies in a home fire. The PrepareLA Koreatown Resiliency Coalition, a group of respected civic and business leaders, partnered with the Red Cross Los Angeles Region to reduce the number of home fires and save lives through the installment of free smoke alarms throughout the community.
Over 170 Red Cross trained volunteers from the 25 local Koreatown organizations that make up the coalition and the Red Cross visited neighboring homes early on Saturday, Jan. 16 near Robert F Kennedy Community Schools, offering critical fire safety information and installing more than 150 free smoke alarms to individuals and families living in neighboring homes.
“Heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fire deaths, and the risk of home fires increases in colder weather,” said Jarrett Barrios, CEO for the Los Angeles Region American Red Cross. “With the onset of winter, and El Nino’s potential colder temperatures, it’s more important than ever to be vigilant when it comes to personal safety and staying warm this winter.”
In 2015, the Los Angeles Region American Red Cross provided assistance to families and individuals affected by more than 6 major fires in Koreatown. Barrios explained that teams recommended two easy steps to help protect homes and increase chances of surviving a fire: have working smoke alarms and create home fire escape plans.
Experts agree that working smoke alarms increase the probability of surviving a home fire by 50%. That is why the Red Cross and key Koreatown organizations and leaders joined forces to go door to door visiting local families.
The American Red Cross was proud to work with key community leadership in Koreatown including the offices of City Council President Herb J. Wesson Jr., Congressman Xavier Becerra, Senate Pro Tem Kevin DeLeon, and Assembly Member Miguel Santiago. Other local partners include LAUSD, LAFD, LAPD Olympic Division, Community Police Advisory Board - Olympic Station and Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools. The PrepareLA Koreatown Resiliency Coalition also includes: Asian Americans Advancing Justice, Aztecs Rising, City of Los Angeles - Emergency Management, Community Police Advisory Board - Olympic Station, Homies Unidos, K2 Los Angeles, Korean American Federation, Korean Youth Community Center, LAPD Olympic Division, LAUSD, Little Bangladesh, mprovements, Inc., MacArthur Park Neighborhood Council, O-Cert, Olympic Booster, Association – OBA Foundation, Olympic Neighborhood Watch, Professional Community, Intervention Training Institute, Robert F Kennedy Community Schools, Wilshire BID, Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council, Youth Policy Institute, Pacific American Volunteer Association (PAVA), and the Korean Immigrant Workers Alliance (KIWA).
The initiative is part of the American Red Cross’ PrepareSoCal campaign, a multi-region effort designed to address the needs of individuals and families to prepare for disasters, small and large, by providing tips, tools, and training, and to promote community resiliency with a focus on Southern California’s most vulnerable communities.
In coordination with the national Red Cross’ Home Fire Preparedness campaign, PrepareSoCal engages and educates individuals, families and communities about home fire preparedness; specifically here in Los Angeles County with the goal to reduce the number of fire related injuries and deaths by 25 percent in the next five years.
To date, the Los Angeles Region of the American Red Cross and community partners have installed more than 3,000 free smoke alarms since October 2014. Over 100,000 smoke alarms have been installed across the country and there have been 15 documented lives saved across the nation due to this important program.
For more information about the Los Angeles Region Home Fire Campaign program, contact Guillermo.Sanchez@redcross.org. To join the life-saving campaign and help your community reduce home fires learn more at Redcross.org/lahomefire For more information on PrepareSoCal, go to www.preparesocal.org.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that mobilizes the power of volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcrossla.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossLA or @CruzRojaLA.