Photo by Henry Nahn

Red Cross volunteer making home fire escape plan with Valley Glen family".

More than 80 American Red Cross volunteers, Los Angeles firefighters and community partners joined efforts to save lives in a Valley Glen neighborhood highly affected by home fires. By going door to door, engaging with neighbors, making home fire escape plans and installing more than 250 smoke alarms, team members aimed to make not just a long-standing impression but a life changing visit.

“We recommended two easy steps to increase chances of surviving a home fire: have working smoke alarms and create home fire escape plans” added Jarrett Barrios.

Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. It’s been proven time and time again that working smoke alarms can double someone’s chance of surviving a fire.

According to Los Angeles Fire Department, in first few months of 2015, four fire fatalities have been registered so far in structure-fire related incidents. In the past 12 months, the American Red Cross has provided services to 1,634 people affected by home fires in 320 incidents.

Peter Sanders, Public Information Director for the Los Angeles Fire Department, said, “Smoke alarms save lives and it’s an easy step for Angelenos to make sure their homes have working smoking alarms to help survive a potentially deadly blaze.”

Statistics show that seven people die per day in a home fire in the United States. In response, the American Red Cross has launched the nationwide Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, which  aims to reduce the number of fire related injuries and deaths by 25 percent in the next five years.

As part of this campaign, the American Red Cross partners with local fire departments, as well as community leaders, members of local CERT and Disaster Advisory Councils in all of the United Stated  to educate communities on fire safety and install free smoke alarms.

Since October of 2014, the American Red Cross has installed nationwide more than 50,000 smoke alarms, replaced more than 8,700 batteries and helped communities make more than 23,000 home fire escape plans nationwide. 

About the American Red Cross:

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. For more information, please visit redcrossla.org or visit us on Twitter at @RedCrossLA or @CruzRojaLA.