Volunteer disaster responders with the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois responded to 21 fires from Monday, December 16 through today in the Chicago & Northern Illinois area including fires in Dixon, Evanston, Schiller Park, Rockford, Peru and more, with nine of these fires occurring in Chicago.
Our volunteers helped 77 individuals, including 53 adults and 24 children. The Red Cross provided assistance with temporary housing, food, clothing and comfort kits with toiletry items, information about recovery services and health and mental health services.
The American Red Cross responds to 3 to 4 home fires every day in Chicago and 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. Last week, volunteers with the Red Cross installed 112 smoke alarms in homes in Chicago. To schedule an appointment to get a free installation in your home, visit www.getasmokealarm.org.
In addition, the American Red Cross wants to make sure that everyone enjoys the holidays safely. Here are some cooking safety tips:
- Keep an eye on what you fry. Stay in the kitchen and never leave cooking food unattended. If you must leave the kitchen, even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
- Clean and clear the area around the stove before turning on the heat.
- Move items that can burn away from the stove. These include towels, bags, boxes, paper and curtains.
- Avoid wearing loose clothing or dangling sleeves while cooking.
- Keep children and pets at least three feet away from the stove.
- Turn pot handles to the back of the stove, so no one bumps them or pulls them over.
- Fires can start whet the heat is too high. 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.
- 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.
- Use a timer to remind yourself that the stove or oven is on.
- Check the kitchen before going to bed or leaving home to ensure all stoves, ovens and small appliances are turned off.
You can also 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.