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FOR RELEASE: March 6, 2000
CONTACT: Dick Gunn
405/271-5601

Free Fire Safety Workshop Scheduled

Kids and fire safety will be the topic of a free workshop called “Play Safe! Be Safe!” The workshop is being offered for child care providers and kindergarten teachers and will be held April 10, 6:30 p.m. to 9:30 p.m., at the Tulsa Technology Center, 3850 N. Peoria, Tulsa.

Sponsored by the Oklahoma SAFE KIDS Coalition, a program of the Oklahoma State Department of Health, the workshop is one of seven being conducted nationwide this year, based on a competitive application process. Co-sponsors include the BIC Corporation, Tulsa Area SAFE KIDS Coalition and Friends of Early Education.

The workshop will be presented by Robert Cole, Ph.D., associate professor of psychiatry, University of Rochester, and president, Fireproof Children. A nationally respected authority on fire safety education, Dr. Cole was the director of the research team that designed and conducted a series of major studies about children and fire. These studies led to the creation of a model juvenile fire setting program, the City of Rochester (NY) Fire Related Youth Program.

Among the studies' findings were:

  • Every year, children start 100,000 fires, 22,000 of these at home.
  • Fires started by children cause $250 million in property damage each year.
  • More than 2,800 people are injured in these fires and more than 350 die each year, according to the National Fire Protection Association.
  • Three-quarters of all the people who die in child-started fires are children aged 5 and under.
  • Most children who start fires aren't emotionally disturbed, but are normal, well-adjusted youngsters who experiment out of curiosity.

For a registration form, contact Oklahoma SAFE KIDS at (405) 271-5695 or visit the SAFE KIDS website at www.oksafekids.org. The first 200 participants to pre-register will receive a free multimedia kit based on the award-winning “Play Safe! Be Safe!” curriculum and free box dinner.

Attendance qualifies for STARS training required by the Oklahoma Department of Human Services.

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