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The American Red Cross promotes preparedness during Hispanic Heritage Month

During Hispanic Heritage Month, the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois will host a series of smoke alarm installations in predominantly Latino neighborhoods. 

CHICAGO, IL (September 15, 2016) — During Hispanic Heritage Month, the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois will host a series of smoke alarm installations in predominantly Latino neighborhoods to promote preparedness during what is also National Preparedness Month. 

Home fires kill more people in an average year than every other domestic natural disaster combined. Smoke alarms cut the risk of death from a fire in half. The Red Cross Home Fire Campaign, now in its second year, aims to reduce deaths and injuries from home fires in the United States by as much as 25 percent over a five-year span. The Home Fire Campaign has saved more than 100 lives across the country since October 2014. 

“Large-scale disasters like tornadoes, hurricanes and floods always make the news, but the most common disaster threat people face across the country is a fire in their home,” said Celena Roldán, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois. “Here in Chicago & Northern Illinois, we have helped at the scene of more than 900 fires so far in 2016. We urge residents to develop a fire escape plan and practice it with everyone in their household. We’re proud to amplify our Spanish language installation program during Hispanic Heritage Month to help prepare families in the face of a home fire.” 

SMOKE ALARM INSTALLATIONS IN LITTLE VILLAGE AND BURNHAM | Each Saturday during Hispanic Heritage Month (Sept 15 – Oct 15), the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois will host a Spanish-language smoke alarm installation event in Little Village and/or Burnham to help educate about preparedness and install life-saving smoke alarms in local homes. Volunteer teams will depart from the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois office (2200 W Harrison St, Chicago, IL 60612) at 10:00 a.m.  

CREATE A FIRE ESCAPE PLAN | Steps for people to create a fire escape plan include: 

Walking through the home and looking at all exits and possible escape routes, including windows; 

Listing two ways to get out of every room in case fire blocks one of the paths; 

Picking a place to meet outside, a safe distance away from the home; 

Conducting drills. Practice until every member of the household, including children, can escape the home in less than two minutes; 

Making sure everyone knows how to call 9-1-1; and 

Teaching everyone to STOP, DROP and ROLL if their clothes should catch on fire. 

People should also install smoke alarms on every level of their home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. They should test the alarms monthly, install new batteries at least once a year or according to the alarm manufacturer’s instructions, and replace alarms every ten years.  

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS | The Red Cross Emergency App contains information on how to prevent home fires and what to do if one occurs. Children can learn about fire prevention and safety through gaming with the Monster Guard: Prepare for Emergencies App. Designed for 7 to 11-year-olds, the app teaches them safety tips for a variety of disasters by having them role-play as different monster characters. Both apps are available to download for free in app stores or at redcross.org/apps.  

Additional fire safety tips and resources are available at redcross.org/homefires.   

People can become a Red Cross volunteer at redcross.org/volunteer or help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. 

About the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois:  

The American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois serves 9.5 million people in 21 counties including Boone, Bureau, Carroll, Cook, DeKalb, DuPage, Grundy, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Jo Daviess, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, McHenry, Ogle, Putnam, Stephenson, Whiteside, Will and Winnebago. The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit us at redcross.org/il/chicago or visit us on Twitter @ChicagoRedCross. 

Contact: Joy Squier 

joysquier@redcross.org  

Office: (312) 729-6204 | Cell: (312) 384-0454 | 24/7 Media Line: (312) 907-0520 

redcross.org/il/chicago 

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