Two separate home fires have claimed the lives of two children, a woman, four dogs and a cat in just two days in the Sacramento area. A reality that is more common during this time of year as temperatures drop.
The American Red Cross has partnered with the Sacramento Metro Fire and Sacramento City Fire Departments to offer free smoke alarm installations to residents in the 17 Sacramento neighborhoods this weekend.
On Saturday, volunteers from the Red Cross and partner organizations will be going door to door, offering free smoke alarm installations in one- and two-family homes that need them. They plan to stop at more than 1000 households.
“While our hope is that no family ever has to experience a fire, we know the reality is that fires happen and we want our residents to be prepared,” said Gary Strong, CEO of the American Red Cross Gold Country Region. “This program will ensure that Sacramento residents have working smoke detectors and are educated on how they can best be prepared in the event of a fire in their home.”
The Red Cross launched the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign last year, a nationwide initiative to reduce fire deaths by about 25 percent over five years. Since then 26 lives have been saved in six states and more than 125,000 smoke alarms have been installed in nearly 2,400 cities and towns.
Volunteers will be in uniform on Saturday distributing fire safety information and speaking with families about how they can be prepared if a fire breaks outs.
The American Red Cross Gold Country region is always recruiting volunteers for future canvassing events; the next one is scheduled for January 16, 2016.
Here are some Smoke Alarm Recommendations from the United States Fire Administration:
- The United States Fire Administration recommends that every residence should be equipped with dual sensor alarms, or a combination of ionization and photoelectric smoke alarms.
- An ionization smoke alarm is generally more responsive to flaming fires, whereas a photoelectric smoke alarm is generally better at detecting smoldering fires.
- The National Fire Protection Association recommends that smoke alarms should be located at least 10 feet away from cooking appliances in order to avoid nuisance alarms. In general, photoelectric alarms are better suited for these areas.
- Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Non-Lithium powered smoke alarms should be tested monthly and have their batteries replaced yearly, or as soon as a low-battery warning is signaled.
- Smoke alarms should be kept clean by vacuuming over and around them regularly.
- Never remove the battery or disable a smoke alarm. If an alarm sounds while cooking or taking a shower, press the “hush” button and open a nearby door or window. You can also wave a towel in front of the unit to help clear the air.
- If your smoke alarm is sounding “nuisance alarms,” try locating it further away from kitchens and bathrooms.
- All smoke alarms should be replaced after ten years of use.