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City of Hays, KS > Departments > Fire Dept. > Kid Safety > Fire Safety >

The following information was provided by the NFPA Riskwatch &
NFPA Sparky.Org

Facts:

In 1998, 683 children ages 14 and under died in home fires, and another 2,500 (roughly) suffered non-fatal injuries in reported fires. Young children are at particular risk of death in fire, with kids ages five and under twice as likely to die in a fire as the rest of the population. In 1998, more than half of the children killed in home fires fell within the five and under age group.

Child-playing is the leading cause of fires leading to deaths of preschoolers; most child-playing fires involve matches and lighters.

In 1999, an estimated 99,500 children ages 14 and under were treated in hospital emergency rooms for burn-related injuries. Young children are particularly vulnerable to burn-related injury and death. Young children's skin is thinner than adults' and can suffer serious deep burns

Safety Tips:

Smoke alarms save lives. Having a smoke alarm in your home cuts your chance of dying in a fire nearly in half! Install at least one smoke alarm on each level of your home and in or near all sleeping areas. Smoke alarms should be tested once a month and batteries replaced once a year or when the alarm beeps, warning that the battery is low.

Fire can grow and spread very quickly. Everyone should know exactly what to do in a fire so they can escape quickly and safely. Develop and practice a home fire escape plan with your family. For a step-by-step guide to home fire escape planning and practice, visit Escape With the Miller Family.

Keep matches and all lighters up high and out of children's sight and reach, preferably in a locked drawer; keep kids well away from cooking areas, lit candles, and space heaters.

  • It is important for children to learn and practice fire safety messages. Here are some helpful fire safety rules for children:
  • Plan and practice a home fire escape plan.
  • Know what to do when the smoke alarm sounds.
  • Stop, drop, and roll if clothes catch fire. STOP immediately where you are. DROP to the ground. ROLL over and over, covering your face and mouth with your hands.
  • "Cool a burn" any time you burn your skin. If you get burned by touching a hot object or liquid, cool the area with cold water for 10-15 minutes. Tell a grown-up about the burn.
  • Matches and lighters are not toys. They are tools for grown-ups only.
  • Tell a grown-up if you find matches or lighters.

Fire Escape Plan:

When drawing up a Fire Escape Plan remember these important tips:

1. Two Ways Out:
Every room should have two ways out. One way out would be the door and the second way out may be a window. If your first way out is blocked by fire or smoke you should use your second way out. Emergency escape from a second story window may involve using a home fire safety ladder. If your escape plan includes an escape ladder, practice using it from a first floor window with a grown-up.

2. Working Smoke Alarms:
Make sure your home has at least one smoke alarm on every level and outside the sleeping areas. If you sleep with your bedroom door closed, ask a grown-up to install a smoke alarm inside your bedroom. Ask a grown-up to test your smoke alarms each month by pushing the test button, and to replace the batteries once a year or when it makes a chirping sound which means the battery is running low.
 
NOTE: Newer smoke alarms have a universal signal repetition of 3 beeps, followed by a 1 1/2 second pause.

3. Outside Meeting Place:
Pick a family meeting place outside the home, where everyone will meet once they have escaped. A good meeting place would be a tree, a streetlight, a telephone pole, or a neighbor's home. Be sure to stay a safe distance from emergency vehicles.

4. Lots of Practice:
Practice your plan with your family at least twice a year. Get your family together for tonight and practice your "great escape." Remember: Never go back inside a burning building. Once out, stay out!

If you live in an apartment building, here is some special information for you.
In some cases, the safest action when a fire alarm sounds may be to stay inside your apartment and protect yourself from smoke until the fire department arrives. This is called a "passive escape." If escaping is your best course of action, follow your escape plan unless there is immediate danger. Take your key with you in case you are forced to return to your apartment. Always use the stairs - never the elevator- in case of fire alarms. An elevator may stop at a floor where the fire is burning or it may malfunction and trap you.

If you are unable to leave the building, use your passive escape.

Seal all doors and vents with duct tape or towels to prevent smoke from entering the room.

Open a window at the top and bottom so fresh air can enter. Be ready to close the window immediately if it draws smoke into the room.

Call the fire department and let them know that you are still inside the building.

Wave a flashlight or light colored cloth at the window to let the fire department know where you are located.

Be patient. Rescuing all the occupants of a high-rise building can take a long time.

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