Aurora Beacon News - October 27, 2005

Program teaches residents to protect homes from fire

No home is guaranteed fireproof, but all can be made safer. That's the message that volunteers took door to door in the Aurora area as part of this year's Red Cross Team FireStopper fire safety education and prevention program. Team FireStopper came to Aurora on Oct. 22 as part of National Fire Safety Month to teach residents how to better protect their homes against fire.

Red Cross volunteers, with support from the First Alert company, provided safety "makeovers" for 70 homes in Aurora.

Each family received a Red Cross Emergency Supply Kit; installation of insulating window films; smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and carbon monoxide detectors; a customized family disaster plan; a visual inspection for other fire hazards; a fire escape ladder; and a furnace check.

Additionally, one homeowner was given a new furnace, and another a new boiler, courtesy of Illco at 535 N. River St. in Aurora. The furnace and boiler were installed by R.J. O'Neil Plumbing and Heating and Artlip and Sons Heating and Air Conditioning. Both are Aurora firms.

All Team FireStopper assistance was provided free of charge, and, in Aurora, the program is supported by First Alert; Home Depot; Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago; Grainger; Hewitt Associates; Fox Valley United Way; city of Aurora; Aurora Fire Department; Aurora Police Department; Aurora Regional Fire Museum; Aurora Interfaith Food Pantry; Parliament Builders Inc.; and Joseph Corporation.

Residential fires constitute the single most prevalent disaster in the seven-county area served by the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago, and Aurora is one of its highest-risk flash points.

"Every day we see families shattered by the loss of their home or even a loved one because of a fire. That loss is unacceptable to us because we know that most fires can be prevented," said LaForice Nealy, managing director of Response and Emergency Communications for the American Red Cross of Greater Chicago.

For additional information, people may call (312) 729-6100 or visit .



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