Posted by: Glenn Gaines, Acting Administrator for the U.S. Fire Administration
Every winter, we see the number of fires in homes or apartment buildings rise, especially as families turn to alternative sources of heating during the winter months. This year is no exception – and a new report released today by the U.S. Fire Administration finds that the threat of serious injury or death from residential fires is especially high for young children under the age of five.
In fact, as USA Today reports this morning, according to this new study, 52 percent of all child fire deaths in 2007 involved children under the age of four, a slight increase from the most recent study previously conducted in 2004.
This is a figure that should be going down – not up. This latest report reveals a deeply troubling trend, and should serve as a wake up call for all of us. These deaths are preventable, and working together we can educate each other and save lives. You can read the full report here.
That’s why today, FEMA, USFA, the National Commission on Children and Disasters, and a host of our other partners across the public health, children’s advocacy and emergency management fields, are teaming up to raise awareness about these threats and how families can keep their homes and loved ones safe.
Our goal is to make sure that all members of the public have access to important information about simple steps we all can take to protect against the two leading causes of home fires during winter months: heating and cooking.
So – how can you get involved?
Join us – and our various partners in this – in helping us spread the word.
Visit our Kids Fire Safety page on www.ready.gov/kidsfiresafety.
Check out our new widget -- and post it on your website: http://www.ready.gov/kidsfiresafety/join.html.
And join our online conversation. We want to engage anyone with good or innovative tips about how you, your local fire station, or your community is helping protect families from home fires. Join us our discussion on Twitter by using #kidsfiresafety. As always, you can follow FEMA @FEMA or Administrator Fugate @craigatfema.
Or leave us a comment below. And as you stay warm in our remaining winter months, remember to stay safe!