House 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 house fire and every hour approximately 16 children are injured from fires or burns. 88% of all fire-related deaths are due to house 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 61,000 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%. 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. If they are battery operated, be sure to check the batteries twice a year.
- Teach kids never to play with matches and lighters. Make a habit of placing these items up and away from young children.
• 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.
- 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. Use common sense in the kitchen. Limit distractions when cooking and don’t leave a hot oven or stovetop unattended.
• Have at least one 5# ABC fire extinguisher readily available, and know how to use and maintain it.