Red Cross seeks volunteers to help install smoke alarms during Sound the Alarm events in Central Coast

The Central Coast Chapter of the American Red Cross is seeking people to volunteer their time at one or more of its local Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events planned for this spring.

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

The American Red Cross is seeking people to volunteer their time and help save lives at one or more of its local Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation events planned for this spring:

  • April 28 – King City
  • April 28 – Chular
  • May 12 – Capitola

“Home fires are the biggest disaster threat we face, killing an average of seven people in this country every day,” says Michele Averill, Chapter Executive of American Red Cross of the Central Coast. “Just here in the Central Coast, we have responded to more than 60 home fires since July 1."

The three local events are part of the Red Cross' national Sound the Alarm effort, a series of smoke alarm installation and fire safety events in more than 100 high-risk communities across the country. From April 28 through May 13, a period that spans three weekends, Red Cross volunteers and partners will install 100,000 free smoke alarms in these communities.

The Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters a year, the majority of which are home fires. That's why the organization launched its nationwide Home Fire Campaign in 2014. For the Sound the Alarm part of the campaign, the Red Cross has rallied an army of volunteers and partners to visit high-risk neighborhoods and offer to install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms, and help families create escape plans.

By the end of February, the Red Cross and its partners installed more than one million free smoke alarms. Alarms installed through the Home Fire Campaign are documented to have saved at least 381 lives. Here in the Central Coast, the Red Cross has already installed nearly 4,000 smoke alarms, making nearly 1,500 homes with nearly 5,000 residents safer, and educated nearly 1,000 youth.

"Grab your friends and sign up to spend a Saturday with local fire departments and Red Cross volunteers installing free smoke alarms and educating residents about home fire safety," Averill says. "All event volunteers will receive complimentary breakfast and lunch, as well as the great memories that come from serving your community."

Please help us to Sound the Alarm by volunteering to install smoke alarms, making a financial contribution, or taking steps to protect your own family from home fires.

To sign up and to learn more about the Home Fire Campaign in this region, visit If you have questions about the local installation events, you may also send email to Helen Cosentino, the Central Coast chapter's disaster program specialist, at [email protected].

Generous gifts by the following sponsors are enabling Red Cross volunteers and our partners to reach more homes and save more lives:

  • National Sponsors: Almost Family, Delta, FEMA, and International Paper.
  • Regional Sponsors: PG&E, AppLovin’, CSAA Insurance Group, Dignity Health, Camille McCormack, Sanders Dickinson Foundation, Silicon Valley Bank, and State Farm.


About the American Red Cross of the Central Coast:
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. The American Red Cross of the Central Coast serves the residents of Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz Counties. For more information, visit our website at or call us at 831-624-6921. You may also find us on Facebook and Twitter.

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American Red Cross