By Communications and Marketing Intern, Angel Emodi

To prevent human suffering from home fires, the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign aims to reduce home fire related deaths and injuries by 25% by the year 2020. With the Home Fire Campaign, Red Cross volunteers educate families about home fire safety, and install free smoke alarms in homes in vulnerable neighborhoods throughout the country.  This campaign began in 2014, and with 941,916 nation-wide installations to date, I think it is safe to say it has been a huge success!

This fall, the Red Cross will begin hosting Sound the Alarm smoke alarm installations and fire safety events. Sound the Alarm events will occur nation-wide, from Sept. 23rd – Oct. 15th, and culminate in the installation of the 1,000,000th free smoke alarm! Here in L.A, we will have five Sound the Alarm events across the Region between Sept. 23rd and Oct. 21st, with a goal of installing 4,000 free smoke alarms. To accomplish this we will need 1,300 volunteers, so please sign up to volunteer today!

” The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.” 

Not only does the American Red Cross prevent human suffering by helping people become better prepared for home fires, they also reduce human suffering in the aftermath of emergencies, like home fires, by providing clean water, safe shelter, and hot meals for families who may have lost everything or been displaced. In fact, L.A. based Home Fire Campaign Manager, Guillermo Sanchez, and Disaster Program Manager, Jon Brown, recently shared a story about a family who experienced a home fire, but didn’t contact the Red Cross immediately. It turns out the family had been living in their car while sorting things out with their landlord. Luckily, they reached out to a local organization, who was in contact with the American Red Cross. Then, the Red Cross was able to provide a hotel and the financial resources necessary to get them back on their feet!

Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking with Sanchez and Brown, to get two different perspectives on this life-saving campaign.

LA Talks: Tell us a little about what you do for the Home Fire Campaign.

Guillermo: I oversee Home Fire Campaign events in different territories and provide necessary supplies needed to have successful events. I also work with different [community] partners to get more volunteers involved.

Jon: I plan and implement the events. I find facilities, recruit volunteers, and report to Guillermo for essential equipment.

LA Talks: What do you enjoy the most about Home Fire Campaign events?

Guillermo: I enjoy knowing the work we do has an impact on people. I’ve been to homes with no smoke alarms and too many people. Making their lives better inspires me to continue what I do. It’s a tangible way to see the Red Cross Mission in action!

Jon: I enjoy providing life-saving information and equipment. It’s a wonderful way to engage with volunteers, and do good in communities.

LA Talks: Do you have anything to say to those interested in volunteering at a Los Angeles area Sound the Alarm event?

Guillermo and Jon: The Home Fire Campaign is a service delivery happening through volunteers. For our Sound the Alarm events, we will need all the help we can get. There are many different ways to get involved such as educating communities, installing smoke alarms, passing out T-shirts, providing lunch, and more. Please join us and help save lives!

LA Talks: Thank you both for helping the American Red Cross successfully perform its mission.

Guillermo and Jon: Thank you to the American Red Cross for giving us this amazing opportunity!

I urge everyone reading this to join us to make a difference in someone’s life. Simply find a Sound the Alarm event that works for your schedule, and register to volunteer!

Angel Emodi will be in 11th grade at Hawthorne Math and Science Academy. She enjoys playing volleyball and her professional goals include attending Medical School to become a Pediatrician. This is Angel’s first year interning with the American Red Cross.


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