Volunteer disaster responders with the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois responded to 28 fires from Monday, October 14 through today in the Chicago & Northern Illinois area including fires in Rockford, Stickney, Morrison, Park Forest, Romeoville, Zion, Elgin, Evanston and more, with 11 of these fires taking place in Chicago.
The Red Cross assisted 118 individuals, including over a dozen residents that were displaced by a fire in their apartment building in Uptown last Monday, October 14. Our volunteers helped 83 adults and 35 children with temporary housing, food, clothing and comfort kits with toiletry items, information about recovery services and health and mental health services.
As temperatures begin to drop with the arrival of fall and winter, the Red Cross reminds residents to be cautious when using space heaters and other heating sources. Also, remember to test smoke alarms and practice their home fire escape plan. Below are a few tips to heat your home safely:
- All heating equipment needs at least three feet of space. Keep away children, pets and things that can burn, such as paper, matches, bedding, furniture, clothing, carpets and rugs.
- If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface, such as a ceramic tile floor. Don’t place it on rugs and carpets, or near bedding and drapes.
- Plug power cords directly into outlets and never into an extension cord.
- Turn off portable space heaters every time you leave the room or go to sleep.
- Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces and chimney inspected annually by a professional and cleaned if necessary.
- Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Use a glass or metal fire screen to keep fire and embers in the fireplace.
- Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
The American Red Cross responds to 3 to 4 home fires every day in Northern Illinois. The Red Cross recommends two easy steps to help protect your home and loved ones from a fire: get a smoke alarm and create a fire escape plan. The Red Cross installs FREE smoke alarms year-round. To schedule an appointment to get a free installation in your home, visit www.getasmokealarm.org.
This past Saturday, members of the Schaumburg Fire Department and Rotary Club in partnership with the Red Cross visited homes in Schaumburg and installed approximately 60 smoke alarms.
In addition, volunteers with the Red Cross will be out in Machesney Park, Illinois on Saturday, October 26, installing free smoke alarms. Meanwhile, members of the Naperville Fire Department and the Rotary Club in partnership with the Red Cross will also be installing smoke alarms in homes in Naperville on October 26.
On Saturday November 2, Red Cross volunteers will depart from the Chicago Red Cross headquarters located on 2200 W. Harrison Street to install smoke alarms in the city. Make your appointment today! For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information visit www.redcross.org/prepare.
Red Cross volunteers also assisted a family in Channahon, Illinois after flooding caused severe damage to their home.
HOW YOU CAN HELP You can help people affected by disasters like storms and countless other crises by making a gift to American Red Cross Disaster Relief. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small. Call, click, or text to give: visit redcross.org, call 1-800 RED CROSS or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. To donate by check or to a specific cause, please complete this donation form by printing and mailing to your local Red Cross chapter.
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.