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Home Fire Campaign Saves Dozens of Lives; Installs Quarter of a Million Smoke Alarms Across U.S.

Santa Cruz, CA (March 9, 2015) — 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.

Here 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.

“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 Home Fire Campaign is supported by more than 2,500 local community partners and more than 40 national partner organizations. Key local partners include: ARES Hollister, California State University at Monterey Bay, Central Fire Protection District, Felton Fire Protection District, Hollister Fire Department, King City Fire Department, Marina Fire Department, North County Fire Protection District, Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E), Seaside Fire Department, Seaside High School, Watsonville High School, and Wells Fargo,

TURN AND TEST

Daylight Saving Time occurs at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning, March 13, and the Red Cross reminds everyone to TURN AND TEST – turn their clocks ahead one hour and test their smoke alarms. If someone’s home is lacking smoke alarms, residents should install smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. The alarms should be tested every month and the batteries replaced at least once a year, or according to the alarm manufacturer’s instructions.

“With clocks around the country springing forward this weekend, it’s a perfect time for families to test their smoke alarms and practice escaping,” continued Averill. “While testing your smoke alarm, practice your fire drill at home until everyone can escape in less than two minutes.”

Every household should develop a fire escape plan and practice it several times a year and at different times of the day. The plan should include two ways to get out of every room and a place to meet outside. Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas or homes with two stories or more.

People can visit redcross.org to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved ones from fire or visit redcross.org/local/central-coast/local-programs-services/home-fire-campaign to learn about the location of local smoke alarm installation events. They can also help by volunteering their time or making a donation today to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.