LOS ANGELES, June 19 — On Saturday, June 17, the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region and MERCYWORLDWIDE installed over 700 free ten-year lithium battery smoke alarms in the Los Angeles neighborhood of South LA. Red Cross staff and a total of 300 trained local community volunteers went to 239 homes to install the smoke alarms and provided over 900 residents with critical home fire prevention and earthquake preparedness information to help get South LA better prepared for emergencies.
“Home fires remain the number one disaster the Red Cross responds to in the Los Angeles area,” said Julie Thomas, Executive Director, Red Cross Santa Monica Chapter. “The volunteers here today are focused on reducing the amount of home fire injuries and death by raising awareness in our communities on home fire safety as well as being prepared for what to do if or when an emergency happens.”
Seven people die each day in home fires across the United States. That is why the American Red Cross has launched a nationwide Home Fire Campaign, which aims to reduce the number of fire related injuries by 25 percent in the next 3 years. Last year, the Los Angeles region of the Red Cross installed over 8,100 free smoke alarms alone.
“We are thrilled to partner with the Red Cross to provide live saving smoke alarms to families in LA’s most vulnerable communities,” said Nick Border, CEO/President MERCYWORLDWIDE. “Our volunteers are dedicated to providing humanitarian service to those in underprivileged conditions and installing these smoke alarms encapsulates that mission by keeping these families safe and prepared for emergencies in their homes.”
Education is one of the best ways to help prevent home fires. Thanks to MERCYWORLDWIDE, and other partners such as LA County Fire, Red Cross volunteers go door to door to ask residents if they can check their smoke alarms or install new 10-year lithium battery smoke alarms at no cost. Working smoke alarms increase the probability of surviving a home fire by 50 percent. People may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out.
The Home Fire Campaign is part of PrepareSoCal which is a multi-region campaign designed to address the needs of individuals and families prepare for disasters, small and large, and to promote community resiliency within the most vulnerable communities.
To learn more about the American Red Cross prepared tips, visit: preparesocal.org