A Timely Initiative

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.

firstalert-B000GEC1P2-SA340CN-main-lgHere 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.


Join us! Help us save lives on December 5!

20150502_123839Join the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign on December 4th and 5th for our Goal: 1000 Smoke Alarm Installation Event!

Here are some important details:

December 4th will be a pre-canvass event where volunteers will be placing door hangers to inform residents in 17 predetermined neighborhoods in Sacramento about the smoke alarm installation event on December 5.

December 5th will be the Goal 1000 event where each volunteer will be placed into groups of four which will consist of one Red Cross volunteer who will be an educator, one document-er, and two installers.

Sign up to be one of the volunteers that can help save someone’s life.

Red Cross member volunteers go to www.redcross.org/volunteerconnection (Go to: My Shifts, Special Events, December)

Non-Red Cross volunteers simply go to pre-register at http://bit.ly/Goal1000 and fill out the form for the day (or days) that you wish to sign up for.

Thank you for helping to make a difference!  All volunteers must pre-register by Friday, November 20. No walk-in volunteering is available.

The Home Fire Preparedness Campaign aims to reduce the total number of home fire related deaths and injuries by 25% by 2020.

American Red Cross to host fire safety programs in Sacramento

The American Red Cross invites volunteers to participate in the nationwide smoke alarm installation and Home Fire Safety Education initiative, to be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. December 5 in 17 Sacramento neighborhoods.

Participants must be 13 or older and are asked to bring a battery-operated drill, a Philips-head screwdriver and a step ladder. Teams of five will work on smoke alarm installation, home fire safety education, data collection and neighborhood canvassing.

Register to volunteer at http://bit.ly/Goal1000 . The deadline to sign up to volunteer is November 20, 2015.image6

For more information visit: www.redcross.org/GoldCountry.

Red Cross Saves 15 Lives and Installs 100,000 Smoke Alarms in Less Than a Year

WASHINGTON D.C. – August 13, 2015 — The American Red Cross and its partners have saved 15 lives and installed more than 100,000 smoke alarms in homes across the country during the last ten months. This accomplishment is part of a nationwide Home Fire Campaign launched last October to reduce the number of people who die or are injured during a fire in their home.

124307_EOYS_2015_Infographic_SocialMedia_1200x1200_FINAL-01“Those 100,000 smoke alarms will be out there protecting families every day for years to come, thanks to the dedication of local volunteers and partners going door-to-door to spread preparedness information in their communities,” said Russ Paulsen, the executive director, community preparedness and resilience services for the Red Cross. “We can count 15 of our neighbors who are still with us today and we know there will be more lives saved. This success lays the groundwork to more than double our efforts next year.”

Since the Home Fire Campaign began, the Red Cross and its partners have installed smoke alarms in almost 2,000 cities and towns in all 50 states. The campaign has already helped save 15 lives in five states ranging from a 3-year-old child to a 73-year-old grandmother.

“Home fires are tragic and devastating to those who experience them”, said Paulsen. “The Red Cross is committed to mobilizing volunteers and local partners to help people protect and prepare both their families and communities.”

In the Gold Country Region, we have:

  • Canvassed: 2,190 homes
  • Installed: 1,131 Smoke Alarms
  • Developed: 781 emergency plans
  • Replaced: 339 batteries

On on October 10, we’re planning to installed more than 1000 smoke alarms in just ONE DAY! Visit, http://bit.ly/Goal1000 for more information and to sign up.

The campaign is a multi-year effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent. Working with fire departments and community groups across the country, the Red Cross is installing smoke alarms in homes in neighborhoods at high risk for fires and teaching residents about fire prevention and preparedness.124307_EOYS_2015_Infographic_SocialMedia_1200x1200_FINAL-02

The Home Fire Campaign is powered by more than 1,800 local community partners and more than 40 national partner organizations. Key supporters include: International Association of Fire Chiefs (IAFC); Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA); United States Fire Administration (USFA); Rebuilding Together; Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation; Meals on Wheels America; Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS); National Council on Independent Living (NCIL); Fire Department Safety Officers Association (FDSOA); Vision 20/20; Project Paradigm; Hope worldwide; Habitat for Humanity; Portlight Strategies, Inc.; and Lott Carey.

WHAT PEOPLE CAN DO The Red Cross asks everyone to take two simple steps to help prevent injury and death during a fire in their home – check their smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. Every household should develop a fire escape plan and practice it several times a year and at different times of the day. The plan should include two ways to get out of every room and a place to meet outside. Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas or homes on the second floor or above.

People should also install smoke alarms on every level of the home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. The alarms should be tested every month and the batteries replaced at least once a year.

People can visit redcross.org to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved homes from fire or contact their local Red Cross to learn about the location of local smoke alarm installation events. They can also help by volunteering their time or making a donation today to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. We respond to nearly 70,000 other disasters every year, from home fires to hurricanes and more. Learn more about how Disaster Relief donations have helped people affected by previous disasters including home fires.