Sound the Alarm: Red Cross installing free smoke alarms across LA County and the nation

According to the American Red Cross, having a one properly installed reduces the risk of dying in a home fire by 50%.
INGLEWOOD, Calif. (KABC) -- A working smoke alarm can be the difference between life and death. In fact, according to the American Red Cross, having a one properly installed reduces the risk of dying in a home fire by 50%.

"Making sure people are prepared, making sure their equipment is up to date and they have fire alarms, just as a basic standard is paramount in making sure we're saving lives," said Sean Inoue, executive director for American Red Cross in Los Angeles.

As part of a nationwide initiative called Sound the Alarm, volunteers from the Red Cross, the city of Inglewood and the Los Angeles County Fire Department joined up this month to install close to 250 smoke alarms throughout the city of Inglewood for free.

"We forget about the fact of something so simple as a smoke detector," said Inglewood city councilman Eloy Morales Jr. "But those are the small things that in important situations, they really matter."

The number one disaster that American Red Cross responds to is house fires. In 2022 alone, the Red Cross L.A. region has responded to almost 150 home fires. Organizers stress that education and preparation are key to saving lives.

"It's a great, simple, easy, effective way of saving lives," said Patrick Sprengel of the L.A. County Fire Department. "Each day we lose lives because of not having smoke detectors available, not having smoke detectors installed."

"The number one thing that's helping to save lives is folks making a plan, making sure that their fire alarms are up to date," said Inoue. "And more importantly they're making a kit if they can to escape that home fire or that wildfire one unfortunately they do happen."

The American Red Cross has a goal to install 50,000 free smoke alarms in more than 50 at-risk communities across the country. You can sign up to become a volunteer or to receive a free smoke alarm installation at this website.

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