LOS ANGELES, March 11, 2021 — As people turn their clocks forward for daylight saving time this Sunday, the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region encourages everyone to also test their smoke alarms.
If a home fires starts, people have just two minutes to escape. Fires move fast, and according to Tonya Hoover, the Deputy U.S. Fire Administrator, in as little as 30 seconds a small flame can become a major fire that ravages a home and threatens the lives of the people inside. The Red Cross responds to more home fires each year than natural disasters in the United States.
These numbers are startling and that is why the Red Cross has made it a priority to prepare families for home fires. The simplest thing that can be done is to check your smoke alarms. Make sure the batteries are fresh and that it is working/beeping. A working smoke alarm alert can cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half.
In 2021, Red Cross LA already has helped more than 420 people following more than 80 home fires with urgent needs such as emergency lodging, financial assistance and recovery planning. Most recently, the Red Cross responded to a condominium fire in Panorama City and helped more than 50 people displaced by the fire, providing them food, water, safe lodging and other services as they begin their recovery.
“This week, Angelenos were reminded of the devastation of home fires firsthand with the condominium fire in Panorama City affecting more than 14 families,” said Guillermo Sanchez, Interim Regional Disaster Officer for the Red Cross Los Angeles. “Fortunately, everyone got out safely thanks to working smoke alarms. Please, take a moment this weekend to test your smoke alarms to help protect your family.”