National Burn Prevention Week February 5-11, 2006

The National Association of State Fire Marshals Public Education Committee encourages you to use this monthly fire safety theme to assist in the prevention of injuries, death and destruction caused by fire. A unified theme
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will reduce associated losses by increasing public awareness through media attention focusing on a specific problem. February's theme is Burn Awareness.

National Burn Awareness Week, February 5 - 11, Draws Attention to Young Children Being at High Risk for Burn Injuries. Burns and scalds can be deadly, especially to children under the age of five. According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), in 2004 there were 1,550,500 fires in the United States. The result of those fires was 3,900 deaths and 17,785 burn injuries. Nationally, 600 children die and another 100,000 children are treated for burn-related injuries annually.

"Young children have thinner skin and burns more deeply and quickly. In a matter of seconds, children can sustain devastating physical and emotional injury", says Michael Appleman, CEO of Burn Survivors Throughout The World, Inc.. "Kitchens and bathrooms can be the most deadly area of your home, especially for children and close supervision is the key", adds Mr. Appleman. Burn Survivors Throughout The World, Inc. is working with the National Association of State Fire Marshals, the Fire Chiefs in Coahuala, Mexico and Viet Nam, and other related organizations to recognize the National Burn Awareness Week as an opportunity to offer these burn prevention tips:

    Burn Prevention Tips
  • When cooking, use back burners when possible and keep pot handles turned to the inside so they don’t stick out over the front of the stove. If left within reach, a curious child might grab or tip the pot over onto them.
  • Electrical cords for cooking appliances should be kept away from counter edges. This will prevent a child from pulling appliances off counter-tops and onto them.
  • Test bath water before putting your child into the bathtub. Children can be scalded by bath water in only a few seconds. Set your water heater to 120 degrees Fahrenheit or below and always provide supervision.
  • Keep matches and lighters out of children’s reach.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed on every level and in every sleeping area of your home. Test them once a month and replace batteries when necessary. Working smoke alarms provide early warning detection allowing more time to escape a fire.

"Fires don’t always happen to the people next door. In less than three minutes, your home could be totally involved in fire and it’s important that everyone reacts quickly and calmly to escape," says John Reich, Deputy Director of the SC Division of Fire and Life Safety. A home escape plan should be developed identifying two ways out of each room, a meeting place outside, and a way to contact the fire department once you are outside. Practice the plan regularly, at least annually, to make sure that everyone knows what to do when the smoke alarm sounds.

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