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Golisano Children's Hospital / Child Safety / Fire Safety for Children


Fire Safety

Every year, thousands of people are killed or injured in home fires, and nearly 1 in every 5 victims is a child age five or under. Smoking is the leading cause of home fires, but in the winter months, fires due to heating equipment cause nearly as many fires. Cooking-related fires are the third most common cause of home fires.

Following are the best ways to keep your family safe:

  • Install fire/smoke detectors in the bedrooms and hallways of your home. According to the National Fire Protection Agency, "Only one-fifth of the home fire deaths from 1989-1998 were caused by fires in which a smoke alarm was present and operated."
  • Check fire alarm batteries monthly, and change them twice a year (recommended at the beginning and end of daylight savings time).
  • Keep a fire extinguisher in the home, preferably in the kitchen.
  • Plan a fire escape route out of your home, and have fire drills so the whole family knows what to do.
  • Teach your child to "stop, drop, and roll" if their clothing catches fire.
  • Keep emergency numbers near the phone.
  • Smokers should make sure cigarettes are fully extinguished when finished, and should not leave matches and lighters within reach of children.
  • Have your fireplace and chimney inspected and cleaned on a regular basis.
  • Check and replace worn electrical cords.
  • Make sure all heating equipment is in good repair and is correctly installed and maintained.
  • Turn off space heaters when leaving the room or the house, and keep them at least three feet away from anything that can burn, such as bedding, curtains, etc.
  • Keep decorative candles out of the reach of children and away from anything that can burn or is combustible.
  • Teach children not to play with matches, lighters or candles and to not play near fireplaces, wood stoves or barbecue grills.