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Home fires can start and spread quickly, which is why we all need to be careful and educated when it comes to fire safety. Just a little bit of planning can make a big difference for your family.
The Hard Facts
Every day, at least one child dies from a home fire and every hour approximately 14 children are injured from fires or burns. Ninety percent of all fire-related deaths are due to home fires, which spread rapidly and can leave families as little as two minutes to escape once an alarm sounds. Fires are not just a problem in the United States. In 2008, nearly 61,400 children around the world died due to a fire or burn.
- Working smoke alarms reduce the chances of dying in a fire by nearly 50 percent. They are a critical first step for staying safe, but in order to be effective, they have to be working properly. For the best protection, install smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area.
- Teach kids never to play with matches, lighters or fireworks. Depending on the age and maturity level of your child, it may be reasonable to use the items with the supervision of an adult. Just be sure that a fire extinguisher and a phone are close by in case of an emergency.
- Create and practice a home fire escape plan with two ways out of your house in case of a fire. Get a stopwatch and time how fast your family can escape. The kids will love it. Here’s a handy worksheet to help get you started.
- Children should know how to respond to the sound of a smoke alarm. Teach them to get low and get out when they hear it. A child who is coached properly ahead of time will have a better chance to be safe. Watch our video to learn more.
- Use common sense in the kitchen. Limit distractions when cooking and don’t leave a hot oven or stovetop unattended.
Fire safety is complex issue. Here’s more information on how to handle carbon monoxide, prepare for any burns and scalds that result from cooking in the kitchen, find out what to do with fireworks and general fire safety tips.