Fire Safety | The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia

Kohl's Injury Prevention Program

Fire Safety

Fires and burns are the fourth leading cause of unintentional injury-related death among children ages 14 and younger. According to Safe Kids Worldwide, an average of 462 children ages 14 and younger have died from residential fires each year since 1999.

Home fires account for nearly 90 percent of all fire-related fatalities. Children less than 5 are at the greatest risk from home fire death and injury. When a child less than 5 years of age dies from a residential fire, a smoke alarm is not working or not present in most of these occurrences.

Fire safety tips

The following are some fire safety tips to help make your home safe and protect your family from fires:

Fire escape plan

In the event of a fire, it is important to get out of the house, fast! However, small children can become frightened, disoriented or react inappropriately when a fire occurs. By developing a family escape plan together, and practicing it repeatedly, children will have a better chance of escaping a fire unhurt and alive.

A good family escape plan should include the following:

How to escape a fire

  1. Fast exit. The key to escaping a home fire safely is to get out fast. Smoke, gas or fire can kill within one minute. Leave valuables behind. Avoid being locked into your house; keep a key in or near any locks at night.
  2. Exit low. As smoke and heat from fire rise, it is important to stay low. Crawl out of the house. Do not run or walk.
  3. Feel doorsAlways feel the door before opening it. A hot door indicates fire on the other side. If a door is hot, place sheets or clothing under the door to prevent deadly smoke from entering the room.
  4. Window exits. If door exit is not an option, escape through a window (use a chain ladder if the window is upstairs). If the window is sealed, throw something heavy through the glass and protect yourself from the broken glass when exiting.
  5. Safe meeting place. Meet at an agreed-upon meeting place outside, such as the mailbox, to make sure everyone is out of the house.
  6. Call for help. Go to a neighbor's house to call the fire department.

Special note: Never go back inside a burning house for any reason!

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Preventing Burns

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