A Red Cross volunteer installs a smoke alarm. Photo provided.

This article was contributed by American Red Cross Communications Manager Jim Burns.

On average, home fires kill seven people and injure another 36 every single day in the United States. That’s why the American Red Cross launched its nationwide Home Fire Campaign in 2014 with the goal of reducing the number of home fire deaths and injuries.

A key component of the campaign is a series of “Sound the Alarm – Save a Life” events in which Red Cross volunteers, working with local fire departments and other partners, visit homes to install free smoke alarms if needed and help families create escape plans. It is believed that the “Sound the Alarm” neighborhood visits have saved more than 550 lives throughout the United States since the Home Fire Campaign began.

On Saturday April 27, Red Cross teams will conduct Sound the Alarm home visits in designated areas in the city of Hollister and the nearby community of Tres Pinos. That day, the American Red Cross of the Central Coast will be installing free smoke alarms and providing fire and earthquake preparedness education in visits planned between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Eight volunteer teams are planned for Hollister; two for Tres Pinos.

The work in the two communities is part of a national push the Red Cross is making during the three weekends between April 27 and May 12 to install 100,000 smoke alarms in communities across the country. Since the campaign began, Red Cross teams have installed more than 1.6 million smoke alarms in homes that need them. In just the three counties (Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz) that the local Red Cross chapter serves, volunteers installed more than 1,500 smoke alarms in homes in 2018 alone.

On April 27, local Red Cross volunteers will be partnering with personnel from the Hollister Fire Department and students from Seaside High School. But more volunteers are needed. If you can help, please:

Please also email Helen Cosentino if you want additional information about the home visits on April 27.

In addition to the local Sound the Alarm event planned for that day, the American Red Cross of the Central Coast is also offering the installation of free smoke alarms and educational visits on an appointment basis throughout Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties. If you would like free smoke alarms installed in your home, please send email to SmokeAlarmInstallNorCal@redcross.org to schedule an appointment.


Supporting our ‘Sound the Alarm’ home visits: This work is made possible thanks to generous financial donations from our national partners: AirBnB, Delta, and Nissan; and our regional partners: Pacific Gas and Electric Company, CSAA Insurance Group, a AAA Insurer, Dignity Health, Linden Root Dickinson, Camille McCormack, State Farm, John and Marcia Goldman Foundation, Karen Turner Sanford, and Veritas.

About American Red Cross of the Central Coast: With offices in Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties, 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. For more information, visit our web site at redcross.org/centralcoast or call us at 831-624-6921. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.