On a Saturday in early October, members of the American Red Cross and the Oakland Fire Department knocked on Fruitvale residents’ homes to install and inspect new smoke alarms as part of the initiation of their Home Fire Campaign. The campaign to remind Oakland residents that “Working smoke alarms saves lives … Let’s be fire safe!” as it said on their press release.
According to the American Red Cross, on average, 7 people die every day from a home fire, 36 people suffer injuries and over $7 billion in property damage occurs every year. The Home Fire Campaign is part of a national effort by the organization, which has set a goal to reduce fire-related deaths and injuries in the US by 25 percent by 2020.
According to Engineer Felicia Bryant, an Oakland firefighter and secretary of the Oakland Black Firefighters Association, the smoke alarm program is already benefitting Oakland residents. “It has helped, because we haven’t had fires in the homes that we have helped so far” she said.