Red Cross Installs Free Smoke Detectors To Prevent Fires In Chicago Area

Chicago News

CHICAGO (CBS) — Our annual CBS Chicago Cares Day of Giving Telethon with the Red Cross will be held on Tuesday.

From 6 a.m. until 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, you’ll be able to make a donation by calling our phone bank, visiting this very website, or texting the Red Cross. It’s a day full of stories of hope and generosity that you won’t want to miss.

Volunteers from the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago respond to three or four home fires every day.

CBS 2’s Yasmeen Hassan reported Monday morning on how their work impacts thousands of lives every day.

Alvaro Sosa was displaced when a fire broke last month out in the building on Paulina Street where he lived. He told CBS 2’s Jermont Terry he did not hear smoke detectors going off in the home.

It’s something firefighters hear way too often. Nearly 60 percent of all fire-related deaths happen in homes that don’t have smoke alarms.

“We want to reduce the injures and death by home fires,” said Red Cross Regional Marketing and Communications Manager Isis Chaverri.

And the Red Cross is doing just that.

“Our volunteers are out installing free smoke alarms all year,” Chaverri said.

So far, the Red Cross has installed more than 7,600 smoke detectors just this year. And that is just in the Chicago area.

It’s all free of charge.

“We go where we’re needed,” Chaverri said.

But the Red Cross goes beyond that. Its mission is “to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.”

That can mean giving people money, clothing, or even finding them a place to stay when they don’t have anywhere else to turn.

“This assistance is made possible by the generosity of donors,” said Morris Bowie, a retired firefighter and Red Cross volunteer.

It’s because of the donors that the staff and volunteers are able to impact thousands of people.

“It made a big impact on their life, and it’s all made possible through the generosity of the Red Cross,” Bowie said. “Someone was here because the Red Cross was.”

As part of our CBS Chicago Cares Day of Giving on Tuesday, we’ll be giving away 400 free First Alert fire extinguishers at the Chicago fire station at 2240 W. 69th St. in the Chicago Lawn neighborhood.

The giveaway begins at 10:30 a.m. and goes until we run out.

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