Gary, East Chicago Among Fire-focus Areas

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October 1, 2013 — The American Red Cross says volunteers for its fire prevention program, Team Firestopper, are conducting community safety events this fall in neighborhoods at higher risk for home fires, which tend to spike during autumn.

The Red Cross says Gary and East Chicago will host safety events, along with Harvey, Illinois as, “The areas are some of the highest response zones Red Cross disaster relief teams respond to in the greater Chicago region.  In September, the Red Cross responded to a fatality in Gary caused by a home fire.  Last year the Red Cross helped more than 150 people in those communities recover from fires.”

The organizations says its volunteers host safety fairs to teach preparedness techniques and arm residents with equipment such as smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguishers and surge protectors. They also canvass neighborhoods walking door-to-door with fire prevention information and schedule home visits to check for potential hazards.

American Red Cross of Greater Chicago Chief Operating Officer Harley Jones says, “As the weather becomes cooler people turn to alternative sources to heat homes which tend to spark more fires.  The Team Firestopper program works to prevent home fires in neighborhoods that have a higher number of incidents as part of the Red Cross’ effort to build disaster-resistant communities.”

October 6-12 is Fire Prevention Week.  American Red Cross says, “The biggest disaster threat to American families isn’t floods, hurricanes or tornadoes; it’s fire. Nationwide, the Red Cross responds to a disaster every eight minutes and nearly all of these are home fires. In the Greater Chicago region, the Red Cross responds to three to four fires every day providing immediate relief such as food, shelter, clothing, health and mental health services and other special needs an affected family might have.”

According to the U.S. Fire Administration almost 365,000 residential fires are reported in the U.S. every year for fires that cause more than $6-billion in property loss, with more than 2,400 deaths every year in home fires.

The American Red Cross invites people in the Greater Chicago area to visit or call (312) 729-6265 for more information or to learn about volunteer opportunities with the Team Firestopper program and its safety events listed below:

Gary, IN

Volunteers canvassing neighborhoods with information

Oct. 2, 10:00-1:00 p.m.

Safety Fair

Oct. 19, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Centennial United Methodist Church

777 Rhode Island Street, Gary, IN 46402


Harvey, IL

Safety Fair

Oct. 12, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Harvey Fire Department

15600 Center Ave, Harvey, IL


East Chicago, IN

Volunteers canvassing neighborhoods with information

Nov. 1, 10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

Safety Fair

Nov. 16, 11:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.

East Chicago Public Library

2401 E. Columbus Drive, East Chicago IL 46312


The American Red Cross is a not-for-profit relief organization that shelters, feeds and provides support to victims of disasters, supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood supply and provides international humanitarian aid.   The American Red Cross of Greater Chicago has a regional grouping in Illinois and Northwest Indiana that serves more than 9.6 million people.

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