Preventing Accidental Injury.
KDHE Office of Communications
In 2007, 37 Kansans died in 3,276 residential fires. In the seven-year period 2000-2006, 57 Kansas children ages 14 and under died in residential fires, and another 377 were hospitalized for accidental fire/burn related injuries. October 5-11, 2008, is Fire Prevention Week, observed every year since 1922 around the anniversary of the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Safe Kids Kansas and the Kansas State Fire Marshal remind all Kansans that approximately 80 percent of all fire-related deaths and injuries occur in the home.
The leading causes of fire-related deaths to children ages 14 and under are heating equipment, playing with items that can ignite fire, and cooking equipment. Most fire-related fatalities are caused by smoke inhalation. “A working smoke alarm cuts your chances of dying in a fire by about 50 percent,” says Jan Stegelman, Safe Kids Kansas coordinator. “Put a smoke alarm on every level of your home, outside every sleeping area, and in each bedroom — and test them every month. Change the batteries once a year.” Smoke alarms are also available with 10-year lithium batteries. It is recommended that smoke alarms be replaced every ten years.
“It is not enough to have a fire escape plan. To escape safely, make sure everyone in the home has practiced the plan,” says Dan McLaughlin, Kansas State Fire Marshal. McLaughlin recommends that families plan two ways out of every room and practice the escape plan with children at least twice a year. Designate a safe place to meet outside in the event of a fire emergency. “Never go back into a burning building and call the fire department from a neighbor’s home or a cell phone outside.”
Parents are also reminded to:
For more information about fire safety for children and families, visit www.usa.safekids.org.
Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of 67 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. Local coalitions and chapters are located in Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Ellis, Finney, Ford, Franklin, Geary, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Osage, Pottawatomie, Rice, Riley, Saline, Smith, Shawnee, Wilson and Woodson Counties, as well as the cities of Chanute, Emporia, Pittsburg, the Wichita Area (including Butler, Harvey, Sedgwick and Sumner Counties) and the Metro Kansas City Area. Safe Kids Kansas a member of Safe Kids Worldwide, a global network of organizations whose mission is to prevent accidental childhood injury. The lead agency for Safe Kids Kansas is the Kansas Department of Health and Environment.
www.kansassafekids.org | www.accesskansas.org/firemarshal