When a smoke alarm blares its high-pitched alarm signaling the presence of a fire, residents may have less than two minutes to get out of the house before being overcome by smoke.
That warning, issued by the American Red Cross and Anaheim Fire & Rescue, was a key reason these organizations joined together on Monday. Jan. 16 – Martin Luther King Jr. Day – to conduct smoke alarm checks at an Anaheim mobile home park.
The outreach effort was organized as a day of community service linked to the national holiday.
“It’s just safety awareness,” said AFR Deputy Fire Marshal Allen Hogue. “Our main goal is to serve the public and make sure they are safe.”
AFR personnel, Anaheim CERT, Anaheim RACES and members of the Desert to the Sea Region of the American Red Cross, along with 150 volunteers, made the rounds to all 375 units in the Friendly Village Mobile Home Park.
They checked whether smoke alarms were working properly and were prepared to install up to 700 of the life-saving devices free of charge to replace those that weren’t.
A properly installed alarm can double a person’s chance of surviving a house fire, said Amy Estey, regional community preparedness manager for the Red Cross.
“With education, your chances can improve to 90 percent,” Estey said.
Smoke alarms should be installed in every bedroom and in common areas such as hallways, she said.
Monday’s project also was part of a 2014 Red Cross initiative aimed at reducing fire-related deaths by 25 percent by 2017.
Friendly Village resident Lit Tuttle was grateful to the volunteers who installed two smoke alarms in her unit.
“I think this is really great,” said Tuttle, who lives in her mobile home with her disabled daughter. “If there is a fire, I want to be able to get up and get her out of here.”
Hangers containing information on getting new smoke alarms installed were hung on doors of residents who weren’t home.
The smoke alarms installed at the mobile home park have a battery life of 10 years.