Volunteer disaster responders with the American Red Cross of Chicago & Northern Illinois responded to 34 fires from Monday, February 3 through today in the Chicago & Northern Illinois area in Chebanse, Elgin, Joliet, Lindenwood, Plainfield and more, with 20 of these fires occurring in Chicago.
Our volunteers helped 130 individuals, including 78 adults and 52 children 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. Sadly, the number of home fires increase during the winter time with home heating being the second leading cause of fires in the country. Here are some steps the Red Cross recommends to reduce the risk of heating-related fires:·
- All heaters need space. Keep children, pets and things that can burn (paper, matches, bedding, furniture, clothing, carpets and rugs) at least three feet away from heating equipment.
- If you must use a space heater, place it on a level, hard and nonflammable surface (such as ceramic tile floor), not on rugs, carpets or near bedding and drapes. Plug power cords directly into outlets – never into an extension cord.·
- 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.
- Turn off portable space heaters every time you leave the room or go to sleep.
In addition, you can take two easy steps to 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. Find more information about home fire safety here: English/Spanish.
Give Blood to Give Time
The American Red Cross and the American Society are teaming up for the month of February through the Give Blood to Give Time partnership to raise awareness on how blood donations help patients fighting cancer. Chemotherapy and radiation, used to treat cancer, can damage the body’s ability to generate healthy blood cells and cause potentially life-threatening conditions. Blood transfusions from generous donors help provide patients with critical clotting factors, protein and antibodies needed to help their bodies fight back. To schedule a blood donation appointment or make a financial gift, visit GiveBloodGiveTime.org.
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.