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It's time to think about fire safety
October 11, 2010
by Jenni Sebora

It is fire prevention poster time. Each October, elementary-aged children come up with a slogan and picture regarding fire safety.

We know that it is important to teach our children about fire safety tips and more importantly, to practice those tips.

Sparky.org tells us that there are three top fire triggers.

Unattended cooking is the first. We should teach kids to stay at least 3 feet away from the stove. Mark the area with a piece of masking tape to show them the distance.

The second is heating devices. You can follow the same 3-feet rule. Keep combustible things at least that distance away from heating devices.

Electrical equipment is also a top fire trigger. Don’t overload outlets; get rid of frayed cords and keep things that can burn away from lamps.

There is also important equipment that we should have in our homes to help keep us safe. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are essential. Check alarms monthly, and don’t forget to change batteries yearly.

Flashlights, fire extinguishers, and escape ladders are also key safety equipment.

Fire extinguishers can put out small contained fires. It is recommended that only an adult should use them and only for small fires that are not producing heavy smoke.

We keep a flashlight under our bed for any emergency and for nonemergencies. Keeping a flashlight under each bed to help with escape when it’s dark is important. Nearly half of home deaths due to fire happen between 10 in the evening and 6 in the morning.

A fire doubles in size every 30 seconds, which means a small fire can turn into a large fire rapidly. It is important for children and all of us to know ways to prevent fire as well as how to respond if there is a fire.