Home fires kill an average of seven people every day across the nation, and cause approximately $7 billion in direct property damage every year.
The Long Beach Fire Department is excited to work in partnership with the American Red Cross as they launch their Home Fire Preparedness Campaign on Saturday, October 11, 2014. Over the next 5 years, the American Red Cross, along with various Fire Department partners, aims to reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires by 25 percent.
“This extensive outreach effort will target areas in our city and elsewhere that are at high risk of fires,” Mayor Robert Garcia said. “As a community, we want to do everything possible to minimize loss, injury, and death resulting from fire.”
American Red Cross Los Angeles Region Home Fire Preparedness Campaign Coalition Teams will be conducting door–to-door canvassing of single family residential structures in high-risk Long Beach neighborhoods in the vicinity of Paramount Boulevard and South Street. Starting at 9:30 am, Long Beach Firefighters, volunteers from the American Red Cross, Long Beach CERT, and Future Firefighters from Long Beach City College will walk the neighborhood talking to residents and offering services.
“Many home fires are preventable, and I strongly encourage the community to practice fire safety at all times and help make Long Beach an even safer city,” said Councilmember Al Austin, who represents the Eighth Council District.
The community outreach will involve:
- Testing existing smoke alarms and/or the installation of free smoke alarms. Batteries will be replaced as necessary.
- Performing free fire preparedness home-safety checks.
- Developing fire safety plans with residents.
“Working smoke detectors dramatically reduce the loss of life, and so do home-safety checks and fire safety plans. I strongly encourage everybody to be as prepared as they possibly can be,” said Councilmember Rex Richardson, who represents the Ninth District.
This monumental effort is part of a larger five year National Red Cross Campaign. Within the Los Angeles Region, Red Cross teams will be visiting nine additional carefully selected high, at-risk neighborhoods during the next 12 months. As resources permit, additional at-risk neighborhoods throughout the greater Los Angeles area will be identified and served.
In addition, as part of this campaign, immediately after a home fire that results in either death or injury, the Red Cross plans to support additional canvassing and installation activities in the immediate neighborhood surrounding these incidents.
Following a few critical steps regarding smoke detectors can make the difference between life and death:
- Install smoke alarms in every bedroom, outside each separate sleeping area and on every level of the home, including the basement.
- Interconnect all smoke alarms throughout the home. This way, when one sounds, they all do.
- Test alarms at least monthly by pushing the test button.
- Batteries need to be replaced when you change your clocks for daylight savings, or when you hear the alarm chirp” – that means that the battery is low