Preventing Accidental Injury.
KDHE Office of Communications
As the weather starts to turn colder, the risk of fires increases significantly. Nationwide, 457 children ages 14 and under died in 2007 due to unintentional fire- and burn-related injuries and approximately 96,756 more were injured.
“Smoke Alarms: A Sound You Can Live With” is the theme for this year’s Fire Prevention Week, October 3 -9. Safe Kids is joining the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) to urge families to focus on smoke alarms as well as take active measures to help prevent fires in their homes. Approximately 80 percent of all fire-related deaths and injuries occur in the home, and young children are at a particularly high risk because they don’t perceive danger as readily and can lack the ability to escape a life-threatening fire situation.
“Having a working smoke alarm reduces a person’s chances of dying in a fire by nearly half,” said Cherie Sage, State Director of Safe Kids Kansas. “We recommend that all parents and caregivers make sure they have a working smoke alarm on every level of the home, outside every sleeping area and in each bedroom. Installing these important safety devices could save the life of a loved one in case of an emergency.”
Important fire and burn safety tips for parents:
“In an average lifetime, one in ten households will have a person injured in a fire,” said Sage. “To prepare for an emergency, parents should plan several escape routes out of their home and then designate a safe place to meet. Then practice with your kids so they know exactly what to do. Also, teach children never to go back into a burning building and to call the fire department from a neighbor’s home or a cell phone outside.”
NFPA has organized National Fire Prevention Week annually since 1922. For more details visit www.firepreventionweek.org. For more information about fire safety for children and families, as well as helpful tips and videos, call 785-296-1223 or visit www.safekids.org.
Safe Kids Kansas, Inc. is a nonprofit Coalition of over 70 statewide organizations and businesses dedicated to preventing accidental injuries to Kansas children ages 0-14. Local coalitions and chapters cover Allen, Anderson, Atchison, Butler, Clay, Coffey, Dickinson, Doniphan, Douglas, Elk, Ellis, Finney, Geary, Harvey, Jackson, Jefferson, Johnson, Labette, Leavenworth, Marion, Marshall, McPherson, Meade, Mitchell, Montgomery, Pottawatomie, Riley, Saline, Sedgwick, Shawnee, Smith, Sumner, and Wilson counties, as well as the city of Emporia and the Metro Kansas City Area (Wyandotte county and several Missouri counties.) 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.
Visit us at www.safekidskansas.org and on Facebook.