Fires are another leading cause of injury. Take steps to protect your family from fire, including:
- Install smoke alarms. You should have a smoke alarm on each level of your house. Replace smoke alarms every 10 years.
- Test and maintain smoke alarms. Check your smoke alarms every month and replace batteries twice per year, such as at daylight savings time. These alarms can reduce your risk of dying in a house fire by almost 50 percent.
- Create a family fire escape plan. Ensure the plan includes meeting in a spot a safe distance from the home and a designated person to grab small children and/or pets. Teach children to stay low to the ground and feel areas around doors for heat. You can also teach them to put a blanket or T-shirt at the base of the door to keep smoke out and how to signal for help out of their window.
- Practice your escape plan. Walk through each step of your plan with your kids and then do a practice run. Time your practice escape with a stopwatch.
- Prevent electrical fires. Avoid plugging several appliances into a single socket or extension cord. Make sure cords and outlets are in good condition before using them.
- Prevent dryer fires. Remove lint from the lint trap with each load of laundry and regularly check the dryer vents for lint build-up.
- Don’t leave ovens or stoves unattended. Also keep flammable items, like pot holders or hand towels, away from stoves. Watch children whenever you are cooking.
- Be careful with candles. Blow out candles whenever you leave the room and keep matches or lighters out of your child’s reach. Always keep candles at least a foot away from flammable items.
- Take precautions with heaters. Place space heaters three feet away from anything flammable and don’t leave them unattended. If you use a fireplace, ensure it is protected by a glass or metal screen.
- Avoid smoking in the house. Many things in the house can catch on fire if touched by a cigarette or ash. Smoke outside and always put out cigarettes completely using sand or water.
- Keep fire extinguishers up to date. Store fire extinguishers around the house, including in the kitchen, laundry room and garage. Teach your children where to find the extinguisher and how to use it. Replace your fire extinguisher when it expires.
To schedule any of these programs, please call the Trauma Injury Prevention & Outreach Coordinator at 864-560-6839.