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fire_alarmRISMEDIA, September 21, 2009—In the United States, approximately 2.4 million burn injuries are reported per year. The Journal of Burn Care and Rehabilitation reports that, of those injuries, between 8,000 and 12,000 of the burn patients die and approximately one million will sustain substantial or permanent disabilities resulting from their burn injury. According to the Home Safety Council’s State of Home Safety in America Report, fires and burns are the third leading cause of unintentional home injury and related deaths. 

“Fire safety and survival begin with everyone in your household being prepared,” said Meri-K Appy, president of the Home Safety Council. “Nearly 90 percent of all fires occur in the home, making it especially important to educate yourself and your family about ways you can decrease the likelihood of a fire taking place in your own home.” 

This October, in honor of National Fire Safety Month, take time to learn and follow the top ten burn and fire prevention tips below as recommended by the Home Safety Council and Tyco Fire Suppression & Building Products to reduce the chances of fire in your home: 

1. Always stay in the kitchen while cooking. Keep things that can burn, such as dishtowels, paper or plastic bags, and curtains at least three feet away from the range top. Before cooking, roll up sleeves and use oven mitts. Loose-fitting clothes can touch a hot burner and catch on fire.

2. Store matches and lighters in a locked cabinet. Many young children are badly burned while playing with matches and lighters.

3. Space heaters need space. Keep them at least three feet away from things that can burn, such as curtains or stacks of newspaper. Always turn off heaters when leaving the room or going to bed.

4. Smoke outside. If you must smoke, use “fire-safe” cigarettes and smoke outside.

5. Make a fire escape plan for your family. Find two exits out of every room. Pick a meeting place outside. Practice makes perfect- hold a family fire drill at least twice each year.

6. Install smoke alarms on every level of your home. There are two kinds of smoke alarms- photoelectric and ionization. If possible, get some of each kind or buy “combination” smoke alarms that have both types of sensors. Put them inside or near every bedroom. Test them monthly to make sure they work. Put in new batteries once a year.

7. Teach every family member to “Stop, Drop, Roll and Cool.” If clothes catch fire, drop immediately to the ground, cross your hands over your chest and roll over and over or back and forth to put out the flames. Cool the burned area with cold water and seek medical attention for serious burns.

8. Keep things that can burn away from your fireplace. Also keep a glass or metal screen in front of your fireplace.

9. Make sure that heat sources are professionally inspected every year. Have a service person inspect chimneys, fireplaces, wood and coal stoves and central furnaces once a year.

10. Install a home fire sprinkler system in your new home, or when you remodel. Sprinklers can control or even extinguish the fire before it can build deadly heat and smoke so you and your family can escape safely, and limit damage to the home. The combination of working smoke alarms and home fire sprinklers reduces the likelihood of death from fire by more than 80%. 

“New home finishes and contents have become significant contributors to the heightened severity of fires occurring in the home,” said Darren Palmieri, product manager of residential fire protection at Tyco Fire Suppression & Building Products (TFSBP). “Because of this, homes are burning at much faster rates, leaving just under three minutes for families to evacuate safely. That’s why installing a combination of residential fire sprinklers and smoke alarms are so critical for fire safety and survival.” 

For more information, visit www.homesafetycouncil.org

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