American Red Cross volunteers with the Disaster Action Team responded to two home fires. These incidents impacted five people in Pekin and Urbana. The Red Cross provided financial assistance and information about recovery planning to three adults and two children impacted by these incidents. Immediate assistance was also provided to three adults and four children impacted by winter weather in Peoria and West Peoria.
Annually, home fires claim more lives than all natural disasters combined. As the weather gets colder, we see an increase in home fires. Every second counts when there is a home fire. A fire can take a home in as little as two minutes. Therefore, escaping in less than two minutes can be the difference between survival and tragedy. 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.
TWO STEPS TO PREVENT FIRE TRAGEDIES To help protect your family year-round, test your smoke alarms monthly and practice your home fire escape plan until everyone can escape in less than two minutes.
Follow these tips on HOW TO HEAT YOUR HOME:
-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; keep away children and pets.
-Plug space heater power cords directly into outlets – never into an extension cord. Turn it off every time you leave the room or go to sleep.
-Never use a cooking range or oven to heat your home.
-Never leave a fire in the fireplace unattended. Use a glass or metal fire screen to keep fire and embers in the fireplace.
-Have wood and coal stoves, fireplaces and chimneys inspected annually by a professional and cleaned if necessary.
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.
The Red Cross in Need of Volunteers
The Red Cross is in need of volunteers. Please visit redcross.org/volunteertoday to find out more about volunteer opportunities, including the positions:
Blood Donor Ambassador - These volunteers welcome visitors to Red Cross facilities or blood drives and take their temperature before they enter. Visitors could include potential blood donors, people seeking help, course participants, and Red Cross employees and volunteers.
Blood Transportation Specialist - These volunteers deliver life-saving blood products from Red Cross distribution facilities to hospitals, using a Red Cross-owned vehicle. We need you to commit to 2-4 shifts per month (or more if you can!). Typical shifts are about 4 hours. You’ll also need to meet these important qualifications: Have a valid state driver’s license and proof of insurance, have three years driving experience and a clean driving record, can lift up to 45lbs.
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.