CHICAGO (CBS) — The Red Cross says last Sunday’s tornadoes illustrate how disasters can devastate communities, but it says the biggest threat to Chicago area families isn’t severe weather, but fires.

With that in mind, its trying to help prevent them in a neighborhood that has more than any other in the city.
WBBM’s Mike Krauser reports volunteers with the Red Cross shared fire safety tips with Englewood residents at the field house in Ogden Park at 65th and Racine.

“Englewood is an area where we do have lots of fire response. That is one of the things we do at the Red Cross is respond to home fires,” said Red Cross CEO Fran Edwardson.

Last year there were 88 fires in Englewood. The Red Cross responds to three or four fires in the Chicago area every day.

“More in the winter time when people are using alternative heating methods and other things that create fire risks,” said Edwardson.

People are learning how to keep their homes warmer by sealing up windows so they don’t need to supplement heat with stoves.

Nicor is a partner with the Red Cross in this effort.

Robin Boren with Nicor says it is very important for people to have their furnaces checked.

“We certainly see It in a lot of neighborhoods. It does cause a lot of fires,” said Boren.

Thanks to donations, the Red Cross is handing out smoke detectors and fire extinguishers and Nicor is doing free furnace inspections.