Photos by Jim Hobbs/American Red Cross
American Red Cross volunteers install smoke alarms April 28 at homes in South County.

SOUTH COUNTY — American Red Cross volunteers helped 79 homes in King City and Chualar become safer last Saturday by installing 271 smoke alarms and educating more than 300 residents as part of the nonprofit organization’s nationwide “Sound the Alarm, Save a Life” campaign.

The Red Cross is currently hosting a series of Sound the Alarm events in Salinas Valley to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires.

The April 28 event in South County saw 65 volunteers — including students and staff from Seaside High School as well as members of the Monterey County Regional Fire District and the Chualar Fire Station — canvass local neighborhoods to install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms and help families create escape plans.

Each year the Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters, the majority of which are home fires.

“Working smoke alarms in a home cut the risk of death by half, and having an escape plan further improves the odds of survival,” said Red Cross officials in a news release. “The Red Cross wants to end these tragedies and save lives, that’s why we launched the Home Fire Campaign in 2014.”

According to the Red Cross, there are two simple steps that everyone should take to help save lives: check existing smoke alarms and practice fire drills at home. For more information, visit

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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