Children under age 5 are twice as likely as the rest of us to die in a fire. Each year, thousands of children are injured or killed in home fires, and 40 percent of them are under age five. To help protect babies and toddlers from the devastating effects of fire, the United States Fire Administration (USFA), a division of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has begun a national public safety campaign. USFA is working with the American Academy of Pediatrics, NFPA, National SAFE KIDS Campaign and ZERO TO THREE to deliver this important message to parents and those who care for children under age 5:
PREPARE - Make your home safer from fire.
PRACTICE - Fire safety especially your home fire escape plan.
PREVENT THE UNTHINKABLE - When it comes to your family's smallest members, remember: Love alone won't save them. Practicing fire safety will.
Children and Fire
Matches, lighters, and other heat sources are the leading causes of fire-related deaths for children under age 5. In fact, toddlers actually cause a large number of home fires by playing with lighters and matches. Children have a natural curiosity about fire and you can't underestimate their ability to strike matches or start a lighter
Two-thirds of home fires that kill children occur in homes without a working smoke alarm. When fire breaks out, you have only seconds to escape its heat, black smoke and deadly gases. Families can dramatically increase the chances of surviving a fire simply by installing and maintaining working smoke alarms. Most hardware, home supply, or general merchandise stores sell smoke alarms and their batteries. Some local fire departments offer smoke alarms at little or no cost.
Home Fire Escape Plan
Most of the families who have fire escape plans do not practice them. Consider that it takes just a few minutes, sometimes only seconds, for a fire to spread out of control. Then consider the difference that a well-rehearsed fire escape plan can make. Children as young as 3 can follow a fire escape plan that they have practiced often, and it can mean the difference between life and death.