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Red Cross to Install Free Smoke Alarms in Aptos on March 26th

WHAT: Volunteers from the American Red Cross and partner organizations will canvass 100 homes in a Santa Cruz County mobile home park to install free smoke alarms in homes that need them and help residents to create escape plans about what to do in case a fire breaks out in their home.

DATE: Saturday, March 26th – 10 a.m. canvassing begins

WHERE: Blue Pacific Mobile Home Park in Aptos, CA

WHO: Volunteers from the American Red Cross, Aptos-La Selva CERT, Aptos-La Selva Fire Department and ARES

WHY: The American Red Cross and thousands of Home Fire Campaign partners have helped save at least 77 lives and installed more than a quarter of a million smoke alarms in homes all across the country since the campaign launched in October of 2014.  In the Central Coast, Red Cross workers and partners have taught 232 youth to be safer in emergencies and installed 1,311 smoke alarms in 572 Households across 14 neighborhoods since the Campaign began.

"Every day seven people die in a home fire somewhere in the United States. Working with our partners, we are changing that by making people safer with each new smoke alarm we install,” said Michele Averill, American Red Cross of the Central Coast Chapter Executive. “The campaign has already helped to save the lives of dozens of people and we know that number will only grow as more alarms are installed and more people take action to prevent home fires.”

The Red Cross is asking everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: check their existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. There are several things families and individuals can do to increase their chances of surviving a fire:

• If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, install them. At a minimum, put one on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Local building codes vary and there may be additional requirements where someone lives.

• If someone does have alarms, test them today. If they don’t work, replace them.

• Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.

• Practice that plan. What’s the household’s escape time?