ASHLAND, Ky. – No one should be faced with the loss of a
child, a family, or a home because of fire. But it happens every year. To help keep your family and home safe, the Safe Kids River
Cities Coalition offers the following tips in recognition of National Fire
Prevention Week, Oct. 7-13:
• Smoke alarms
should be placed on every level of your home, including the basement. You
should also have one outside each sleeping area and in each bedroom. Change the
batteries every year, even if they are connected to your home’s wiring. Test
the batteries once a month.
• Establish a
“kid-free zone” of at least 3 feet around any type of heating equipment or
candles. Candles must be at least 12 inches away from anything that can burn.
Never leave a candle unattended.
• Always turn
off portable space heaters before leaving the room or going to bed. Always use
the right kind of fuel in heaters. Refill them in a well-ventilated area and
only once the heater is completely cool.
• The most
common room for children to start fires is the bedroom. Children know it’s
wrong to play with fire, so they often won’t report if a fire spreads … or they
hide in a closet. Prevent kids from starting fires by keeping matches and
lighters locked up and out of reach. Teach kids not to touch these items and to
tell an adult if they find them.
It’s a good idea to have a home fire escape plan … and to
practice it! Children are more vulnerable to the smoke and flames of a fire and
it’s more difficult for them to escape on their own. Practice will help. Your
escape plan should include:
• Two ways out
of every room
• A designated
person to help young children and others who might have trouble escaping.
• A specific
place to meet outside the home. Once you’re out, stay out!
Teach children to “get low and go” as they leave the house.
And remember, because you may have less than 3 minutes to get out safely, wait
until you’re outside to place that 9-1-1 call.
The River Cities Safe Kids Coalition, sponsored by King’s
Daughters Medical Center, serves Boyd, Greenup, Carter and Lawrence counties in
Kentucky and Lawrence and Scioto counties in Ohio.
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