Seniors Take Charge in their Community Installing Smoke Alarms

It’s about Time…

Two minutes, to be exact.

In this agonizingly short timeframe, a family can win or lose its fight to escape a home fire and the lethal smoke created by that fire.   One device can even the odds for a family:  tested, working smoke alarms.

Our golden age community members understand this; they know there’s never any time to waste so these seniors didn’t.

Partnering with the American Red Cross, they took matters into their own hands.  They knocked on doors, hauled ladders, drilled into walls, mounted alarms, replaced dead batteries, shared fire prevention tips, and documented their results in a smoke alarm installation campaign. In just four-days they saw 20% of their neighborhood homes equipped with brand new 10-year-battery smoke alarms.  The group visited more than 100 homes installing 225 alarms.

They were the disaster volunteers of Mobile County Club in Rancho Cordova who carried out the project with the support of their management and Home Owners Association.

Nothing stopped them, not even temperatures which topped 100 degrees.  Red Cross staff and volunteers, in some cases half the age of their clients, did their best to keep up.  “They set a pace we haven’t seen before,” said Myisha Aban, Red Cross Disaster Preparedness Manager. “These people are so resilient and delightful. I wish my grandmother lived here.”

Equally important, residents were given safety literature emphasizing the all-imperative escape plan, ensuring that a two-minute evacuation strategy would not fail due to blocked or inaccessible exits or pathways to safety unknown to anyone in the household.

Spearheading the charge was Antonio Martinez, HOA Treasurer and the tireless promoter of disaster preparedness for his community of mobile homes.  Tony initiated this project when he called the Red Cross inquiring for free vests.  Joining Tony were residents Bob Schroeder, Lyle Fellows, Bill Johnston, Darrill Sturgeon, Jorge (Chiqui) Nievies, Linda Martinez, Deborah Fieldson, and Irene Ferraro.

The group proved itself not only handy but tireless.  Keeping up with them (or trying to) were Veteran Red Cross volunteer Marcus Heningburg who oversaw Operations along with David Hansen, Todd and Terry Sanford, Isadora Marks, Reena Singh, and Patricia Davis, all of the American Red Cross.

Start to finish, the project was encouraged by Property Manager Leslie Gomez and Office Assistant Kelly Boughton; their support and hospitality contributed significantly to the event’s success.

The alarms and batteries were provided free of charge as benefits of the Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, a nationwide movement to cut by 25% and over a five-year period deaths from home fires.

Coast-to-coast, the fire service has supported the campaign and did so here.  On the first day, a ladder company from Sacramento Metropolitan Fire walked with volunteers and encouraged neighbors to join the movement at Mobile Country Club.

…because Tony and his friends aren’t done.

They’ve got more of that Park to cover.  And they will.

Given several factors, the Red Cross encourages all mobile home parks and their managements to consider a Home Fire Campaign for smoke alarm installation and community disaster education. For more information or to schedule installations visit our website: redcross.org/GoldCountry and click on Home Fire Campaign.

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Trailhead Fire Update: Two Evacuation Shelters available for Trailhead Fire evacuees

Auburn, Calif., June 30, 2016 — The American Red Cross in partnership with El Dorado and Placer counties Office of Emergency Services have established two evacuation shelters for residents who have been affected by the growing Trailhead Fire.

Placer County Evacuation Center:

Gold Country Fair Grounds – Sierra Building

1273 High St, Auburn, CA 95603

There are two shelters available to provide a secure place to stay for both evacuees and their pets.

The shelters are separated due to the health and safety of our shelter guests. Red Cross is providing shelter, food, snacks, water and emotional support.

El Dorado County Evacuation Center:

Golden Sierra High School

5101 Garden Valley Road, Garden Valley, CA

This shelter is being staffed by Red Cross volunteers and managed by the El Dorado County Health and Human Services. The County is also providing a small animal pet shelter at this location.  All large animals need to be transported to 1100 Cold Springs Road, where El Dorado County Animal Services has arranged for accommodations.

The Red Cross is not providing hotel vouchers for evacuated residents, however, we’re encouraging everyone to find comfort at one of our shelters where they can find a safe place to lay down, blankets, food, water and snacks.

Disasters like this create more needs than any one organization can meet. The Red Cross works closely with government and community partners to coordinate efforts.

A public meeting will be held tonight.  Fire staff will give an informational update and answer questions from the public.  American Red Cross will be present as well.

Trailhead Fire Public Meeting:

Thursday, June 30, 2016

7:00pm

Golden Sierra High School

5101 Garden Valley Road, Garden Valley

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.

 The Gold Country Region serves a twenty-four county territory including Alpine, Amador, Butte, Calaveras, Colusa, El Dorado, Glenn, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Shasta, Sierra, Siskiyou, Stanislaus, Sutter, Tehama, Trinity, Tuolumne, Yolo, and Yuba counties.

 For more information, please visit redcross.org/GoldCountry or cruzrojaamericana.org. Stay up to date by following us on Twitter (@RCSierraDelta | @RedCrossNECal) or join the conversation on Facebook’s Sierra-Delta Chapter Page or Northeastern California Page.

Test smoke alarms when turning clocks ahead for Daylight Saving

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Red Cross Home Fire Campaign Saves Dozens of Lives;
Installs Quarter of a Million Smoke Alarms Across U.S.

Woodland, CA Wednesday, March 9, 2016 — The American Red Cross and thousands of Home Fire Campaign partners have helped save at least 77 lives and installed more than a quarter of a million smoke alarms in homes all across the country since the campaign launched in October of 2014.

Here in the Gold Country Region, Red Cross workers and partners have canvased 4,792 homes, Installed 2,029 smoke detectors and helped families create 1,314 fire escape plans. This weekend, we will canvass homes in Woodland and Roseville.

“Every day seven people die in a home fire somewhere in the United States. Working with our partners, we are changing that by making people safer with each new smoke alarm we install,” said Robin Friedman Regional Disaster Officer. “The campaign has already helped to save the lives of dozens of people and we know that number will only grow as more alarms are installed and more people take action to prevent home fires.”

Home Fire Campaign supporters and partners here in the Gold Country Region include the following, Pacific Gas and Electric, Oracle, ServPro as well as local and city fire departments.

TURN AND TEST

Daylight Saving Time occurs at 2:00 a.m. Sunday morning, March 13, and the Red Cross reminds everyone to TURN AND TEST – turn their clocks ahead one hour and test their smoke alarms. If someone’s home is lacking smoke alarms, residents should 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, or according to the alarm manufacturer’s instructions.

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 with two stories or more.

People can visit redcross.org/GoldCountry to find out more about how to protect themselves and their loved ones from fire or 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.

Download your own copies of:

Check out the Home Fire Campaign Video from the large canvassing event in December.’

Home Fire Campaign – Reaching Secluded Areas

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This past Saturday, February 6, 2016, Red Cross volunteers gathered around to knock on doors and help save lives at the Columbia Sky Mobile Home Park in Tuolumne County.

Together with the Tuolumne Fire Department about a dozen volunteers met on the brisk Saturday morning to participate in the first Home Fire Campaign canvassing event in that county.

The day could not have been better, even the deer were out to greet the volunteers and the Columbia mobile home park residents were friendly and receptive.

“All of the volunteers really enjoyed visiting with the seniors,” said Debbie Calcotte, Disaster Program Manager with the American Red Cross Gold Country Region.

In all, volunteers visited 39 homes and installed 51 smoke alarms.

“This was a great kick-off canvassing event for Tuolumne County,” said Lilly Wyatt, Communications Director. “But, we would not have been able to get in to talk to so many individuals and families if it wasn’t for the partnership and collaboration of the Tuolumne Fire Department.”

Anyone is encouraged to sign up and volunteer for future canvassing events across the 24-county Gold Country region of the American Red Cross. Training is provided.

“Today’s event was encouraging,” added JoLynn Miller, Red Cross volunteer. “We heard stories from the people we were visiting on how they actually support the Red Cross with donations and how grateful they were to the teams for being there today.”

The young fire cadets we’re also thrilled to talk to the community about how important fire safety was and help them with fire escape plans and routes.

Data shows that the 4% of homes without smoke alarms represent nearly 40% of the home fires, and that working smoke alarms can double someone’s chance of surviving a fire. That’s why, the American Red Cross is continuing the multi-year Home Fire Campaign, which aims to reduce home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent by the end of 2019.

  •  Installation teams have three goals:
    • Testing and installing smoke alarms and/or replacing batteries (as needed);
    • Educating the resident on fire safety and safety from other types of locally relevant disasters; and
    • Documenting installation information, including the services provided.

The Red Cross also is asking every household in America to join us in taking the two simple steps that can save lives: checking their existing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home.

We are in Sonora next Saturday.

Check our our Home Fire Campaign Album on Flickr with images from some of the canvassing events we’ve participated in. 🙂

 

Water Your Christmas Tree Every Day!

Here’s an important fire safety tip from Tori in Twain Harte, CA:

Water your Christmas tree every day! A dry tree is dangerous because it can catch on fire easily.
Check out more important tips on the Red Cross website:
Seven Fire Safety Tips for Holiday Decorating and Entertaining.

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Keep Candles Away from Pets and Kids!

Hey, I’m Marigold, but everyone calls me Mari. I know, I look sweet.

But I could start a home fire with my tail. Yup, I could knock a lit candle over and that could do it. So please, keep candles away from me—and all my dog, cat, and little human friends.

We’ll love you more if you do!

Let’s be safe this holiday season!

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American Red Cross Shares Heating Safety Advice

heatingsafetyThe holiday season is a time for fun, but unfortunately, it is also a time when we see increases in home fires. Across the country, more than 45,000 fires occur during the winter holidays, claiming hundreds of lives.

Heat sources such as space heaters, fireplaces or wood and coal stoves can pose dangers. The American Red Cross encourages families to take steps to prevent fires while temperatures are cold.

The American Red Cross Gold Country Region has responded to 22 house and apartment fires since Sunday, November 22. Volunteers provided 112 clients with the immediate needs like shelter, food, clothing and referrals..

To reduce the risk of heating related fires, the Red Cross officials recommend the following:

  • All heaters need space. Keep children, pets and things that can burn (paper, matches, bedding, furniture, clothing, carpets, and rugs) at least three feet away from heating equipment.
  • Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended, and use a glass or metal fire screen to keep fire and embers in the fireplace.
  • Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
  • Turn off portable space heaters every time you leave the room or go to sleep.
  • Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces, and chimneys inspected annually by a professional, and cleaned if necessary.
  • If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs, or carpets or near bedding or drapes. Plug power cords directly into outlets and never into an extension cord.

The American Red Cross is always looking for volunteers that can help when disasters strike, learn how you too can be part of our team and register to volunteer today!