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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Test smoke alarms when turning clocks ahead for Daylight Saving

2016DaylightSavingsWeb

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.’

Another Home Fire Campaign Success

The American Red Cross Gold Country Region volunteers, partners and ‘small’ staff are getting really good at this: the Home Fire Campaign.

This past Saturday, January 16, teams of volunteers went out to canvass neighborhoods in Woodland and Roseville to install smoke alarms and educate residents on their fire escape plan.

In Sacramento, our volunteers went out to homes that had made prior appointments for these installations. We had so much success during the event in December that people called our offices non-stop requesting smoke alarms!! Which is awesome by the way.

Well, without further ado, we want to share our success with you:

  • 58 installs in Woodland (Team Michelle and Daryl)
  • 39 in Sacramento (Team Patricia—-Scheduled appointments mostly—only 2 teams involved)
  • 96 in Roseville (Team Tami—Great coordination with Roseville fire)
  • Total for Smoke Alarms—193—Other numbers to follow……

 

A good day all the way around!

Check out all the pictures from this weekend’s effort, visit our Flickr Album:  http://rdcrss.org/1J1CgFw .

Check Your Smoke Alarms Today!

On December 4, the Sacramento City and Metropolitan Fire Departments partnered to stage a dramatic demonstration at their training facility which showed how a dry Christmas tree and faulty lights or a candle can spark a home fire. And, they showed the tremendous value and benefit to working smoke alarms. Though the demonstration fire ignited and grew quickly, the smoke alarm sounded loud and clear providing potential residents the opportunity to escape to safety. Research shows that smoke alarms cut the risk of death from home fires in half. Are your smoke alarms working properly? Have you checked the batteries lately?

Protect yourself and your family in two simple steps:

  1. Develop a fire escape plan.
  • Develop a fire escape plan for your household. Practice it several times every year at different times of the day and night. Make sure everyone can get out of your home in two minutes, or less.
  • Include two ways to exit every room.
  • Consider escape ladders for sleeping areas or homes above the ground floor, such as apartments.
  • Pick an outside meeting place for your family to gather. Ensure everyone , young and old, knows where your meeting place is.
  1. Check smoke alarm batteries and install new alarms, if needed.
  • Test your smoke alarm batteries every month.
  • Replace batteries at least once a year, or more often, if needed.
  • Make sure you have smoke alarms on every level of your home, in every bedroom, and near every sleeping area.

Be prepared! Make a plan and check your alarms today!

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.