Volunteers with the American Red Cross assisted 33 individuals impacted by home fires. From December 14 through today, 14 incidents took place across Chicagoland, including in Chicago Heights, Northlake, Oswego, and Zion with 12 of these home fires occurring in Chicago.
The Red Cross assisted 26 adults and seven children affected with a safe place to stay, health services, disaster mental health services, financial assistance and information to help them in their recovery.
If you need assistance after a home fire or disaster, please call our dispatch line: 1-877-597-0747.
Holiday Cooking Safety Tips
While the coronavirus may have changed many of our holiday gatherings, the need to protect ourselves from cooking fires continues.
Typically, Christmas is one of the peak days for cooking fires, which is the top cause of home fires in the U.S. Most often, these emergencies are caused by unattended cooking — a common behavior shared by nearly 70% of us, as shown in a national American Red Cross survey earlier this year.
To help keep you and your loved ones safe, the American Red Cross urges everyone to follow these safety tips:
1. Keep an eye on what you fry! Never leave cooking food unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
2. Move items that can burn away from the stove. This includes dishtowels, bags, boxes, paper and curtains. Also keep children and pets at least three feet away.
3. Avoid wearing loose clothing while cooking.
4. When frying food, turn the burner off if you see smoke or if the grease starts to boil. Carefully remove the pan from the burner.
5. Keep a pan lid or a cookie sheet nearby. Use it to cover the pan if it catches on fire. This will put out the fire. Leave the pan covered until it is completely cooled.
TWO MINUTES TO ESCAPE A FIRE Test your smoke alarms monthly and practice your home fire escape plan until everyone can get out in less than two minutes — the amount of time you may have to get out of a burning home before it’s too late.
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).
For COVID-19 safety tips, visit redcross.org/coronavirus.
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.