When turning back your clocks this Sunday, test your smoke alarms to help protect your family from home fires — which continue to be the nation’s most frequent disaster as approximately 60,000 home fires occur annually across the U.S.
Locally, volunteers with the American Red Cross responded to 22 home fires in Chicagoland from October 19 to today, including home fires in Aurora, Broadview, Joliet, Lockport, and more, with 13 of these incidents taking place in Chicago.
In the past week, the Red Cross help 87 people, including 58 adults and 29 children with urgent needs like emergency lodging, health and mental health services, financial assistance and recovery planning to help them get back on their feet after the devastation of a house fire.
The need to protect ourselves from home fires hasn’t stopped during COVID-19. That’s why it’s critical to have working smoke alarms, which can cut the risk of dying in a home fire by half. This weekend, take a few minutes to ‘turn and test’ to help keep you and your loved ones safe.
HOW TO ‘TURN AND TEST’ Press the button on your smoke alarms, following the manufacturer’s instructions, and replace the batteries if needed — at least once a year, if your model requires it. Also follow these steps:
Visit redcross.org/fire for more information, including an escape plan to practice with your family. You can also download the free Red Cross Emergency app (search “American Red Cross” in app stores).
The Red Cross Needs Your Help
Meanwhile, the Red Cross continues to be in urgent need of volunteers due to a very active disaster season. Hundreds of volunteers are still providing assistance to communities impacted by wildfires in the West and hurricanes in the South. More Red Cross volunteers left their homes locally this weekend to help in Colorado with the wildfires that are burning there.
If you like to join our team of dedicated volunteers, please visit redcross.org/volunteertoday to find out more about opportunities, including the most-needed positions:
You can also find virtual volunteer opportunities at redcross.org/volunteertoday.
These are other ways that you can support those impacted by disasters:
Access 2020 disasters b-roll here.
About the American Red Cross of Illinois
The American Red Cross of Illinois serves 12.4 million people in 88 counties in Illinois, Iowa and Missouri including Adams, Bond, Boone, Brown, Bureau, Carroll, Cass, Champaign, Christian, Clark, Clay, Clinton, Cook, Coles, Crawford, Cumberland, DeKalb, De Witt, Douglas, DuPage, Edgar, Effingham, Fayette, Ford, Franklin, Fulton, Green, Grundy, Hamilton, Hancock, Henderson, Henry, Iroquois, Jasper, Jefferson, Kane, Kankakee, Kendall, Knox, LaSalle, Lake, Lee, Livingston, Logan, Macon, Macoupin, Marion, Marshall, Mason, McDonough, McHenry, McLean, Menard, Mercer, Montgomery, Morgan, Moultrie, Ogle, Peoria, Perry, Piatt, Pike, Putnam, Richland, Rock Island, Sangamon, Schuyler, Scott, Shelby, Stark, Stephenson, Tazewell, Vermillion, Warren, Washington, Whiteside, Will, Williamson Winnebago, Woodford. Iowa: Lee, Muscatine, Scott and Van Buren. Missouri: Clark, Lewis, Marion and Ralls. 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/Illinois or visit us on Twitter @RedCrossIL.