Red Cross urges fire safety steps

Updated: Jan. 5, 2018 at 11:52 AM CST
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(KFVS) - The Red Cross of central and southern Illinois has urged fire safety steps after responding to 94 home fires since Dec. 1.

According to the Red Cross, fifteen people have died in these fires, including four children. In addition, the Red Cross has opened shelters due to the number of people left homeless.

After disasters such as these, the Red Cross has provided these families with shelter, food, emergency relief supplies, emotional support and healthcare. Since Dec 1, the Red Cross continues to aid these victims totally 219 adults and 110 children.

“We’re deeply saddened for all who were impacted by these fires. It is heartbreaking for those families who tragically suffered the loss of loved ones,” said Lyn Hruska, Chief Executive Officer, American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region. “Winter is a high-risk time for home fires and we urge everyone to take steps immediately to minimize the risk of a fire occurring in their home.”

 The Red Cross is calling on everyone to take two simple steps that can save lives: practice fire drills at home and check existing smoke alarms.

There are several things families and individuals can do to increase their chances of surviving a fire:

  • If someone doesn’t have smoke alarms, install them. There should at least be one smoke alarm per floor of the home, as well as, in bedrooms and outside sleeping areas.
  • If someone does have alarms, have them tested. If they don't work, replace them.
  • Make sure that everyone in the family knows how to get out of every room and how to get out of the home in less than two minutes.
  • Practice a fire escape plan and determine your family escape time.

People can visit the Red Cross to find out more about how to protect themselves from a home fire.

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