Red Cross
American Red Cross of the Central Coast volunteers visit the Greenfield Fire Department station before installing dozens of free smoke alarms for local families in Greenfield on May 25. (Courtesy of American Red Cross)

GREENFIELD — Volunteers from the American Red Cross of the Central Coast recently conducted “Sound the Alarm” home visits in Greenfield.

In partnership with the Greenfield Fire Department, Red Cross teams installed 61 free smoke alarms and provided fire and earthquake preparedness education during the May 25 visits. The effort made 23 homes and 98 residents safer and better prepared for home fires.

“Every day in the United States, seven people die in home fires, mostly in homes that lack working smoke alarms,” according to the Red Cross. “Sadly, children and the elderly disproportionately lose their lives.”

On average, home fires kill seven people and injure another 36 every day in the United States. That statistic is 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 700 lives throughout the United States since the Home Fire Campaign began,” stated Red Cross.

Red Cross
Red Cross volunteers install 61 smoke alarms and educate 98 residents in Greenfield last month. (Courtesy of American Red Cross)

The Red Cross volunteers’ work in Greenfield last month continues the local chapter’s efforts to install smoke alarms in area homes that need them. In just the three counties (Monterey, San Benito and Santa Cruz) that the Central Coast Chapter serves, volunteers have installed more than 1,500 smoke alarms in homes every year.

On April 20, local Red Cross volunteers installed 161 free smoke alarms in Salinas during another “Sound the Alarm” event. They provided safety information to 224 residents and made 42 homes safer, with the help of the Salinas fire and police departments.

“I am so proud of our incredible team of Red Cross volunteers. Their effort, combined with the fire and earthquake preparedness education they have provided, has made a significant impact on our community’s safety,” said Michele Averill, Red Cross Central Coast Chapter CEO, in an article posted on the organization’s official blog. “Working together with our partners, the Salinas fire and police departments, and the support of our generous sponsors, we are making a real difference in ensuring the well-being of our neighbors. I am continually inspired by the dedication and teamwork that has been demonstrated throughout ‘Sound the Alarm’ campaign.”

In addition, the Red Cross offers the installation of free smoke alarms and educational visits on an appointment basis throughout the region. Visit for more information.

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Ryan Cronk is the managing editor for King City Rustler and Salinas Valley Tribune, a unified publication of Greenfield News, Soledad Bee and Gonzales Tribune. He covers general news for South Monterey County and the surrounding communities.


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