[June 25, 2020 – Oakland, CA] The American Red Cross is proud to announce that four more lives have been saved by smoke alarms installed through the Northern California Coastal Region's Sound the Alarm smoke alarm installation and home fire safety program.
On April 7, 2020, a mother, her two adult daughters, and her son were eating dinner in the family's Alameda County apartment. Suddenly, the smoke alarms that were installed by Red Cross volunteers in June 2015 through a Sound the Alarm event began to sound. Because of these smoke alarms, the family of four was able to escape the apartment before a fast-moving fire in a neighboring unit reached their home.
Two Red Cross volunteers responded to the fire, which destroyed an apartment building and displaced five families. The Red Cross gave the families immediate financial assistance and later did follow-up work and provided more assistance.
Thanks to the Sound the Alarm events in just this Red Cross region, seven lives have been saved. Nationally, the Red Cross reports that a total of 761 lives have been saved through its Home Fire Campaign — a truly remarkable accomplishment.
WHAT IS THE RED CROSS HOME FIRE CAMPAIGN?
Home fires are the most frequent and deadliest disaster in the United States. Every 24 seconds, a fire department in the United States responds to a fire somewhere in the nation, according to the National Fire Protection Association. On average, seven people die every day from these fires and 36 people are injured. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire in half.
That's why the American Red Cross launched its nationwide Home Fire Campaign in 2014 with the goal of reducing the number of home fire deaths and injuries. A key component of the campaign are the Sound the Alarm events in which Red Cross volunteers, working with local fire departments and other key partners, visit homes in high-risk neighborhoods to install free smoke alarms and help households create home fire escape plans. In addition to saving 761 lives, the campaign has:
· Installed over 2.15 million free smoke alarms in more than 890,000 homes across the country.
· Served more than 2.35 million people through home visits.
· Helped more than 766,000 households prepare their fire escape plan.
· Educated more than 1.6 million children about emergency preparedness through the Red Cross' Pillowcase Project.
WHAT YOU CAN DO: A home fire can happen quickly, leaving you as few as two minutes to escape. Early warning from working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan that everyone has practiced can save lives. Take these two simple steps to be prepared for a home fire:
· Practice a home fire drill with members of your household to make sure everyone can get out in two minutes.
· Test your smoke alarms every month to make sure they are working.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Join the Red Cross effort to save lives, reduce injuries, and cut down on needless losses from home fires by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800 RED CROSS, or texting FIRE to 90999 and making a financial donation. A gift to the "Home Fires" designation enables the Red Cross to provide critical services to people impacted by home fires along with the lifesaving tools and information to support home fire prevention efforts.
For more NCCR stories related to home fires in this region, please go to this index page on our region's blog: redcrossblognccr.org/tag/home-fire/
We thank our regional Sound the Alarm partners who invested in community preparedness and resiliency this past year: PG&E Corporation Foundation, CSAA Insurance Group – a AAA Insurer, Allstate Insurance, Camille McCormack, State Farm, Sanders Dickinson Foundation, Chris & Jeff Carlton, Elizabeth Folger & Roger Eldred, Coffman Engineering, Kaiser Permanente, and Silicon Valley Bank.
About the American Red Cross Northern California Coastal Region (NCCR): 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 depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The American Red Cross of the Central Coast serves the residents of 15 counties including Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Merced, Monterey, Napa, San Benito, San Francisco, San Joaquin, San Mateo, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Solano, Sonoma, and Stanislaus. For more information, visit our website at redcross.org/norcalcoastal. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.