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Protect your families, homes from fire’s devastation

 

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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