Volunteers with our Disaster Action Team have been busy responding to home fires across Chicagoland. From November 30 to today, local Red Cross volunteers responded to 17 home fires, including a fire in a multi-unit apartment building in Richton Park that displaced more than 15 families. The Red Cross is providing temporary emergency lodging to those affected. Our volunteers are also providing meals, health services, disaster mental health services, financial assistance and information about recovery planning.
In addition, Red Cross volunteers helped families impacted by home fires in Antioch, Country Club Hills, Dolton, Harvey, Joliet, Streamwood, Tinley Park and more with seven of these incidents occurring in Chicago. Our volunteers provided a safe place to stay, emotional support and health services to a total of 125 individuals including 83 adults and 42 children.
As weather gets colder, the number of home fires increases. The Red Cross encourages everyone to talk to their children about fire safety to help families stay safe. We want to ensure families and children are prepared. Please talk to everyone in your household about home fire safety, and practice your escape plan together until everyone can get out in two minutes or less.
HELP KEEP YOUR FAMILY SAFE Below are some key ways to prepare your family:
- Practice your escape plan: Take time to discuss fire safety with your family. Familiarize children with the sound of your smoke alarm and teach them what to do when they hear it when you practice your escape plan.
- Avoid matches: Teach your children to tell you or a responsible adult when they find matches or lighters at home or school. Keep matches, lighters and other ignitable substances in a secured location out of reach of children.
- Test smoke alarms: Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside and outside bedrooms and sleeping areas. Test them monthly and replace alarm batteries as needed.
For free home fire safety resources, including an escape plan, visit redcross.org/fire or download the free Red Cross Emergency App. In addition, the free Monster Guard app reaches children how to prepare for emergencies by playing an engaging game. Download the apps by searching “American Red Cross” in app stores or going to redcross.org/apps.
If you need assistance after a home fire or disaster, please call our dispatch line: 1-877-597-0747.
Photo description: Multi-Unit Apartment Fire in Richton Park on Friday, December 4.
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.