Emily Cox, American Red Cross San Diego/Imperial Counties
Every day, seven people die in home fires, most in homes that lack working smoke alarms. The American Red Cross is working to improve the odds and save lives by through their Home Fire Campaign.
Smoke alarms in a home make a lifesaving difference by decreasing the risk of dying in a home fire by 50%. The Home Fire Campaign installs free smoke alarms in homes that don’t have them and educates people about home fire safety.
You can prevent tragedy from happening in your home by testing your smoke alarms, creating a home fire escape plan and practicing this plan at least twice a year to ensure that all household members can escape a fire in two minutes or less.
Smoke alarms should be tested once a month and batteries replaced once a year (if your model requires them). Smoke alarms should be completely replaced every 10 years. This means that if you haven’t replaced your smoke alarms since 2010, you should act now and replace your smoke alarms!
If you need smoke alarms installed in your home, the Red Cross may be able to help. Please request a free smoke alarm installation from the Red Cross at SoundTheAlarm.org/SanDiego or call 619-354-9609. In addition to traditional smoke alarms, they can provide free bed shaker alarms for individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing.
Over the past five years, the Home Fire Campaign has installed more than two million alarms and saved at least 682 lives nationwide, including five lives right here in San Diego County.
Each spring, the Red Cross hosts a large-scale Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation event with over 100 cities installing more than 100,000 free smoke alarms over a two-week period.
This year’s San Diego County event will be held on Saturday, April 18, in Oceanside. Volunteers and partners go door-to-door to install smoke alarms and provide home fire safety education to residents. Support this effort to save lives at SoundTheAlarm.org/SanDiego.