Typically, Thanksgiving 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. While the coronavirus may have changed many of our Thanksgiving gatherings, the need to protect ourselves from cooking fires continues.
To help keep you and your loved ones safe, the 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.
Find out more about Thanksgiving safety here.
Local Volunteers Assist 96 Residents After Home Fires
As the weather gets colder, the number of home fires increases. This past week, volunteers with the Red Cross were at work responding to fires across Chicagoland and providing comfort to those impacted. From November 16 through today, Red Cross volunteers responded to 13 home fires in Berwyn, Bolingbrook, Calumet Park, Round Lake Beach and more. Seven of these fires took place in Chicago, including five incidents in multi-unit buildings. One of these home fires occurred on the 800 block of East 82nd street in the Chatham neighborhood where our volunteers assisted 13 families that were affected. Over the weekend in Englewood, a house fire with a fatality unfortunately occurred.
In total, the Red Cross helped 96 individuals, including 68 adults and 28 children with temporary emergency lodging, health and mental health services, financial assistance and recovery planning.
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. If you need assistance after a home fire or disaster, please call our dispatch line: 1-877-597-0747. 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.
HOW YOU CAN HELP – To join our team of dedicated volunteers virtually or in person, visit redcross.org/volunteertoday.
You can also make a difference by:
- Making a Donation at redcross.org, calling 800-RED-CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Your gift enables the Red Cross to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.
- Donating Blood please schedule an appointment to donate by using the Red Cross Blood Donor app, visiting RedCrossBlood.org or calling 800-RED-CROSS.
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.