The American Red Cross Los Angeles Region responded to a dozen home fires during the holiday weekend that impacted families in Canoga Park, Mission Hills, Pomona, Altadena, Lancaster and Eagle Rock.
Volunteers from the Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) responded to 12 home fires providing emergency financial assistance and virtual one-on-one support for 36 individuals affected.
“These calls can be challenging, because no one should have to deal with this kind of tragedy during the holidays,” said DAT volunteer, Valerie Eads.
“In this instance, we were able to provide financial assistance for lodging assistance, food and clothing, if needed. In addition, the Red Cross is dedicated to helping families with their needs and some of those affected asked for mental, health and spiritual care.”
Red Cross volunteers have been trained to maintain a social distance and follow proper safety procedures to continue serving communities impacted by local disasters, during the coronavirus outbreak.
As residents head into another holiday weekend, colder temperatures can still bring the risk of home heating fires. The Red Cross urges everyone to stay safe by properly warming their home:
HOW TO HEAT YOUR HOME
2020 Red Cross survey showed that more than half of us have used a space heater — which is involved in most fatal home heating fires. Provide at least three feet of space for all heating equipment, and never leave space heaters unattended. Follow these additional tips:
— If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface, such as a ceramic tile floor. Don’t place it on rugs and carpets, or near bedding and drapes; keep away children and pets.
— Plug space heater power cords directly into outlets — never into an extension cord. Turn it off every time you leave the room or go to sleep.
— Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
— Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Use a glass or metal fire screen to keep fire and embers in the fireplace.
— Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces and chimneys inspected annually by a professional and cleaned if necessary.
STAY SAFE FROM HOME FIRES
Test your smoke alarms monthly and practice your home fire escape plan until everyone can escape in less than two minutes — the amount of time you may have to get out of a burning home before it’s too late.
HOW YOU CAN TAKE ACTION
—Make a financial donation to your local Red Cross to help people affected by home fires and other disasters in the United States and around the world. Visit redcross.org/donate.
— Visit redcross.org/fire for home fire safety information, including an escape plan to practice with your family.
— Become a Red Cross volunteer by applying at redcross.org/volunteer.
— Download the Red Cross Emergency App by visiting redcross.org/apps or texting ‘GETEMERGENCY’ to 90999. This all-inclusive app combines more than 35 emergency alerts to help keep the user safe. And the Monster Guard mobile app is specially designed for kids, teaching them to prepare for emergencies at home by playing an engaging game.
Families in our community, across the country and around the world turn to the Red Cross every day to help #EndHomeFires. Hospital patients still need lifesaving blood; neighbors still need food, shelter and care after disasters; and military families still need support.
You can help fulfill the urgent needs of the Red Cross mission at redcross.org/la.