New Campaign Promotes Fire Safety Awareness for Families

Tuesday, 15 March 2011

With home fires on the rise in winter months and a new study showing that young children are at an especially high risk of getting seriously injured or dying in residential fires, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Commission on Children and Disasters have launched a new public awareness campaign to help keep children and families safer from the threat of home fires.

As part of this effort, FEMA's U.S. Fire Administration released a new report on the risks fires pose to children. The report, which is based on the latest available data released by the National Center for Health Statistics, found that young children face the greatest - and a growing - risk of death or serious injury in home fires, with 52 percent of all child fire deaths in 2007 involving children under the age of four, a slight increase from the most recent study previously conducted in 2004. Click here for a copy of the report.

Some of the key findings in the report include:

  • Deaths from fires and burns were the second leading cause of accidental deaths not related to transportation, after drowning;
  • Boys are at higher-risk of dying from fires than girls;
  • Between 2006 and 2008, smoke alarms were not present in at least 23 percent of residential fires;
  • African-American children are at an increased risk of fire deaths; and
  • Low-income children are at greatest risk of exposure to home fires.

To help families protect their homes and loved ones, especially young children, from fires, FEMA, the U.S. Fire Administration, and the National Commission on Children and Disasters are asking families to take simple steps now to prevent fires in their residences, and partnering with leading organizations across the fire, emergency medical services, public health, and emergency management fields - including Fire Corps - to get the message out.

To provide families with important tips about fire safety and lists of additional resources, FEMA has launched a campaign web page and social media tools. To view the Fire Safety for Children web page and links to resources and tools, click here.

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