Excerpts from WIFR.com:

Red X’s have been popping up on vacant homes all over Rockford as part of a new program by the fire department. The Red X program is designed as way to let firefighters know that the building has some structural weaknesses before going inside.

“The roof structure did collapse and narrowly missed some of our firefighters. That’s a situation where a sign like this would have warned our firefighters this building has some structural issues and would help drive our tactics a little bit more,” says Rockford Fire Department Division Chief Matt Knott.

The Red X also defines some of the buildings as being on a demolition list and helps neighbors keep an eye on what’s happening next door.

Emergency responders Firefighters say there haven’t been any fires in the marked buildings since the program started six months ago, which is something that doesn’t surprise Curtis.

Right now, there are more than 80 structures with the ink. The fire department hopes to have over 100 within the next two months.

Rockford currently has more than 4,000 vacant homes, though not all vacant homes qualify in the international fire code to have a red x.