Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Keeping preschoolers safe from fire dangers

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OLYMPIA—Young children, with their curiosity and limited understanding of risks, face particular dangers from fires and burns in the home. Local fire officials are urging parents and caregivers to take proactive steps to protect preschool-aged kids.

"It is important to have a plan when there are children in your home, because during emergencies children sometimes need help getting out of the house. Their ability to escape may be dependent on other occupants," advised the State Fire Marshal's Office (SFMO).

While the relative risk of children 14 and under dying in a fire was 70 percent less than the general population in 2020 according to a U.S. Fire Administration report, officials say continued education is crucial. In Washington state last year, three children under age 10 perished in fires, accounting for 3.7 percent of fire fatalities.

The SFMO offers these messages for preschoolers:

  • Firefighters are community helpers – They wear special clothes and equipment to help them stay safe from smoke and fire. Do not be afraid of firefighters even though their equipment can look and sound scary.
  • When you hear a smoke alarm, get outside, and stay outside. A smoke alarm will let you know if there is a fire in the home and make a loud 'beep, beep, beep' sound if there is smoke. Get outside until a grown-up says it is safe to go back inside.
  • Parents are also advised to practice fire drills using smoke alarm sounds and tell kids: Stay away from hot things. Do not touch matches or lighters, or any other items that can be hot, as they are dangerous. Walk away and tell a grown-up if they see them.

For more fire safety information for families, contact the SFMO at (360) 596-3929.

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