Quick tips: Prevent Turkey Day cooking firesNov 25, 2009
This year, your Peoria/Champaign/Danville Red Cross offers quick tips to help ensure that YOUR Thanksgiving is a safe one.
“Sadly, Thanksgiving is one of the worst days for home cooking fires in this country,” said Anne Fox, CEO of the Red Cross Central Illinois Chapter. "Taking some simple precautions can help prevent devastating home fires.”
Follow these safety tips to help prevent home fires this Thanksgiving:
- Stay in the kitchen while you are cooking. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of Thanksgiving Day home fires, according to the National Fire Protection Association. If you leave the kitchen even for a short period of time, turn off the stove.
If you are simmering, baking, roasting, or boiling food, check it regularly, remain in the home while food is cooking, and use a timer to remind you that you’re cooking.
- Keep anything that can catch fire -- potholders, wooden utensils, food wrappers, towels or curtains -- away from your stove top.
- Make sure your sleeves are out of the way when cooking. Wear tighter fitting clothing with shorter sleeves.
- Have a “kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around the stove and areas where hot food or drink is prepared or carried. Never hold a child while cooking, drinking or carrying hot foods or liquids.
- Keep pets off cooking surfaces and nearby countertops to prevent them from knocking things onto the burner.
- Turn the handles of pots and pans on the stove inward to avoid accidents.
- After guests leave, walk around the home, making sure that all candles and smoking materials are extinguished. Make sure your smoke alarms are working.
Travelers, prevent flu during Thanksgiving holidayNov 18, 2009
With H1N1 flu causing illness all across the country, the Red Cross is glad to offer you tips to lessen the chances of getting sick over the Thanksgiving holiday.
- If sick, stay home. It’s disappointing to not be able to join in the family celebration, but act responsibly and stay home to avoid spreading the flu.
- It’s possible to spread the flu virus one day before actually showing symptoms. Those who have been in close contact with a sick individual should be extra careful about using good hand hygiene and cough etiquette and be aware of what might be flu symptoms.
- Wash hands with soap and water as often as possible. If soap and water aren’t available, use hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
- Use sanitizing wipes to disinfect hard surfaces such as airplane tray tables, luggage handles, cell phones, door handles and seat armrests.
- Remember to wash hands or use a hand sanitizer before eating any meals or snacks. It’s important to remember that you are touching a lot of surfaces that others are touching as well. Make sure your hands are clean before you put anything into your mouth.
- Bring personal blankets, pillows and earphones to avoid using something which may have been in contact with the flu virus.
- After washing hands in a public restroom, turn off the faucet with a paper towel. Then use another paper towel to dry hands and open the door when exiting the restroom.
For more flu safety tips, visit www.redcrossillinois.org/pandemic-fluRead More
The storm cometh: Red Cross stages regional disaster drillNov 17, 2009
Volunteers pretend that local homes have been hit by major wind storm
If a devastating storm were to hit the community, the local Red Cross will be better prepared to help, thanks to training that volunteers received during a two-day disaster drill.
On Nov. 20-21, volunteers from the Central Illinois Chapter participated in a regional drill designed to give them hands-on experience in damage assessment and disaster response planning. The drill’s premise is that a major wind storm has struck the area, causing widespread damage to homes.
“We were eager to give volunteers who’ve only had classroom training some real-world experience,” said Alyssa Pollock, assistant Red Cross emergency services director. “The Red Cross wants this community to know that we are ready to respond in a real emergency.”
- On Friday, volunteers headed to the Red Cross office in Bloomington-Normal for a tabletop “impact assessment” exercise. They called other volunteers who are role-playing as utility company workers and emergency response officials.
- On Saturday, starting at 9 a.m., volunteers met at the Central Illinois Chapter in Peoria for a field exercise. They drove around Peoria’s Sunset Hills neighborhood (West of Institute Place, between Forrest Hill and Gift Avenues) to look for homes that have been “tagged” as damaged. A sign posted in the front yard described what kind of damage a home sustained.
The Central Illinois Chapter is one of several Red Cross chapters participating in the drill. Elsewhere, volunteers in the communities of Bloomington-Normal, Canton, Champaign, Clinton and LaSalle-Peru also conducted field exercises.
This is the first time the Red Cross has staged a regional exercise. The drill is funded by a grant from the Wal-Mart Foundation.