Local fire departments and governing authorities are trying once again to educate people on the deadly risks they face from fire outbreaks in their own homes. A fire has the ability to start from almost anything, and can turn in to a raging inferno in no time at all. Fire proofing your home is one way of keeping yourself and your children safe.
Can you name the number one cause of in-home fires caused by children? Yes, you guessed it right; matches and lighters are in fact the number one cause of fires. Far too many children have learned to light matches and to ignite lighters and find them completely irresistible. Much too often these instances are deadly and one or more children are hurt badly or killed. If your child begins showing interest in fires or setting them, at an early age, there is counseling available to help them find better outlets for their emotions or desires. Most of the juveniles that are considered "fire starters" are found to have played with matches and lighters, often, when they were children. To remove any hazards or temptations, keep matches and lighters in high places or locked cabinets.
It is imperative that you educate your child on fire safety and how to leave a room or house if one starts. Although they are naturally inquisitive about fires, they more often than not hide when faced with the reality of one. Sadly, most of the deaths that occur of young children are those that are found too late, hiding under beds and in closets. When frightened, they have a tendency to get easily confused, or if they were responsible for having started the fire, they may hide out of fear of consequences. Practicing fire drills in your home, at least on an average of 3 - 4 times a year, will enable them to become familiar with their surroundings and to feel more confident in the event of an emergency.
Another top ranking cause of fire injuries among children is clothing fires. These occur when children get too close to open flames, heaters, burners, matches, etc. and their clothing catches fire. Teaching your children about fire and the possible damage that it can do, allows them to learn a healthy respect for fire. Fire safety on this topic includes teaching them the basics of what to do if their clothes catch on fire, that would be the well known phrase, "Stop, Drop, and Roll". Even though their natural inclination is to run, teach them to stop immediately, drop to the ground, cover their face, and roll repeatedly until the flames are extinguished. This is such a simple action, but can lead to saving your child's life. The safest course of action would be to always ensure that a responsible adult or teenager is always around your child. They should not ever be left unattended, since this is most often when serious accidents occur.
In the 1970's, a law was passed concerning children's sleep wear that it had to be flame retardant. Before this law went into effect, the deaths of children in fires was at an all time high, but after the law was passed, the rate of child deaths by fire lowered by over 90%. This helped to heighten the general awareness of the danger of fires, and resulted in a big step toward better fire safety practices. The statistics are shocking at best, and cause people to take notice of the simple things that could end up being the death of your child. Most fire inspectors today are trying to warn parents everywhere that some of the sleeping garments they are choosing for their children, such as t-shirts and shorts, are not flame retardant material. For the safety of your child, read the label and get the facts. It could be a matter of life and death -- literally.