Guadalupe Salas knew she should have smoke alarms in her home, but it’s something she kept postponing.
But on Sept. 24, volunteers from Southern California Edison and the American Red Cross stopped by her house in Rosemead and the family now has four new smoke alarms.
“I’m very thankful that you came and offered me the smoke alarms,” she said. “Now it will be safer for my family.”
The alarms were installed for free as part of the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region Home Fire Preparedness event. Volunteers went door-to-door in Rosemead visiting 62 homes and installing more than 150 life-saving smoke alarms for 210 residents.
According to the American Red Cross, an average of 7 people lose their lives every day to home fires in the U.S.
“I was shocked to learn that people have two minutes to get out of their house if there is a fire. I didn’t know this before today,” said SCE volunteer Krystal Clay. “That isn’t much time and the short amount of time makes it even more important to have working smoke alarms.”
Joel Gay, an American Red Cross Disaster Action Team volunteer, notes that more than half of the homes they have visited did not have a working smoke alarm.
“When you talk to the home owners they say they have a smoke alarm, but when you ask further you find out that they have taken the battery out or that it is no longer working,” he said.
Many homes contain highly flammable materials that produce toxic fumes and smoke. And the fumes are often what is the most harmful.
“Working smoke alarms save lives,” said Gay. “The more active working smoke alarms that are in the home the higher the chances are that that family will be able to get out of their home safely.”
And SCE volunteer Kapil Bhagvan was happy to do his part for the homeowners in Rosemead.
“Installing free smoke alarms, at events like the one today, lets me give back to the community,” he said.
For more information: redcross.org/local/california/los-angeles/home-fire-campaign.