||Contact | A-Z Health Index | Events & Meetings|
FOR RELEASE: November 7, 2000
Smother Fire with Safety Tips
A fire in the home can be quick, unexpected and deadly, especially for children. In less than five minutes, an entire house can be destroyed and precious lives tragically lost. It's crucial for families to know what to do in the event of a fire, but it's even more important to prevent them in the first place.
"Children, especially those ages 5 and under, are at the greatest risk from home fire-related death and injury," said Martha Collar, coordinator of the Oklahoma SAFE KIDS Coalition, a program of the Oklahoma Department of Health. "If a fire should break out in the home, children must know what to do to ensure a quick and safe escape."
Fires and burns are the third-leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children in the United States. Each year, 1,000 children ages 14 and under die in residential fires. Nearly 70 percent of these children are ages 4 and under. In addition, most fires occur during the home heating season, so now is an appropriate time to review fire safety tips.
Eliminate Potential Fire Hazards
A small fire can transform into a deadly fire within minutes. To help prevent a fire, parents and caregivers need to closely inspect the home and get rid of all potential hazards. SAFE KIDS reminds families to:
In the event of a fire, simple safety practices such as the use of working smoke detectors can drastically reduce the chance of a fire-related death. The chances of dying in a fire are cut in half with the presence of a working smoke detector. Ninety percent of childhood fire deaths occur in homes without working smoke detectors. SAFE KIDS suggests:
Teach Children Fire Safety
Time is precious when a fire starts in the home. Children need to be taught about the dangers of fire and what to expect so they can act quickly. An unprepared child will most likely attempt to hide from the fire instead of leaving the burning building. If a child is coached properly ahead of time, he or she will have a better chance of escaping. In addition, adults and children can be overcome by odorless, colorless carbon monoxide fumes in less than two minutes, fall into a deep sleep and never awaken.
Copyright © State of Oklahoma