The American Red Cross Los Angeles Region and SoCalGas installed over 900 free ten-year lithium battery smoke alarms in the Los Angeles neighborhood of Pacoima on Saturday, April 29.

The alarms were part of the Red Cross program PrepareSoCal, a multi-region campaign to address the needs of individuals and families to prepare for disasters, small and large, and to promote community resiliency within the most vulnerable communities.

Red Cross staff and volunteers, along with trained bilingual local community volunteers, went to 231 homes to install the smoke alarms and provided more than 1,100 residents with home fire prevention and earthquake preparedness information to help get Pacoima better prepared for emergencies.

“Home Fires can be devastating and fatal so we must do all we can to prevent them,” stated Raul Claros, American Red Cross Northern Valleys Chapter executive director.

“We are recommending two easy steps to help protect their home and increase chances of surviving a fire: have working smoke alarms and create home fire escape plan.”

 Education is one of the best ways to help prevent home fires, officials said. 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. Working smoke alarms can double someone’s chance of surviving a fire.