SAN DIEGO – January 29, 2019 — The American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties and the Burn Institute are proud to announce that three lives have been saved in San Diego County by smoke alarms installed through the Sound the Alarm program.
On April 19, 2018, the Red Cross hosted a Sound the Alarm installation event in Bayview Mobile Home Park, installing hundreds of smoke alarms and leaving behind information on requesting a free smoke alarm installation for residents who weren’t home. Fanny Contreras called back with a request for alarms and volunteers from the Burn Institute, a Red Cross partner organization, returned to install three smoke alarms in her home. Less than six months later, a fire sparked in a bedroom. Fanny and her two adult children were able to safely escape the fire after being alerted to the flames by the beeping smoke alarms.
“Fanny’s experience shows us that having a working smoke alarm in your residence can be the difference between life and death,” said Susan Day, Executive Director of the Burn Institute. “We are grateful to partner with the Red Cross on this program and see that the work we are doing is making a real impact in our community.”
Every day, seven people die in home fires. Working smoke alarms in a home cut the risk of death by half and having an escape plan further improves the odds of survival.
“These lives saved are the direct result of the strong partnership between Red Cross volunteers, the Burn Institute and generous donors who make our preparedness programs possible,” said Sean Mahoney, Regional CEO, American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties. “The vast majority of the incidents we respond to in our region are home fires and working smoke alarms are truly lifesaving.”
Since October 2014, more than 16,600 free smoke alarms have been installed and 6,180 homes have been made safer in San Diego County. As of January 2019, the Red Cross and its partners across the country have saved more than 500 lives.
Additional Sound the Alarm installation events are scheduled in Lakeside in March and El Cajon in April. On May 4, a large-scale Sound the Alarm installation event will be held in Chula Vista in conjunction with the National Red Cross Sound the Alarm signature events. More than 100,000 smoke alarms will be installed across 100 cities in the span of two weeks. Volunteers are needed, and no prior experience is necessary. More information is available at soundthealarm.org/sandiego.
Additional details on Fanny’s story of surviving a home fire can be viewed in this video and anyone in need of a smoke alarm installation can request a visit at soundthealarm.org/sandiego.
For more information on the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties, please visit redcross.org/sandiego.
About the American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties
The American Red Cross of San Diego/Imperial Counties is the most trusted community service organization in education, preparation and response to natural disasters and human emergencies. With the public’s ongoing support, we provide lifesaving preparedness training; disaster relief services; services to deployed military personnel and their families, and nutritional counseling through our Women, Infants and Children (WIC) program. Through Prepare San Diego, a regional resiliency initiative, the Red Cross brings together key community and business leaders from the region to create a sustainable network that encourages preparedness, carries out response and recovery plans, and strives for resiliency in the face of disaster, meeting all aspects of the disaster lifecycle. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org/sandiego or connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.
About the Burn Institute
The Burn Institute is the local nonprofit agency dedicated to reducing the number of burn injuries and deaths in San Diego and Imperial Counties. Founded in 1972, one of the Institute’s first accomplishments was to help establish the area’s first and only regional burn center. Today, the Burn Institute continues to reach thousands of children and adults each year with lifesaving fire and burn prevention education and burn survivor support programs that help children and adults cope with the devastating psychological and physical effects of their burn injuries. For more information on the Burn Institute, visit www.burninstitute.org. You can connect with the Burn Institute on Facebook and on Twitter.
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