South Wales Fire and Rescue Service is joining forces with Child Safety Week (run by Child Accident Prevention Trust from 23rd to 29th June 2008 – www.capt.org.uk/csweek) to help parents ensure they and their children are kitchen clever when it comes to fire safety. Every year, thousands of children are admitted to hospital as a result of accidents at home.
Every year many children are involved in accidental fires in South Wales and exposed to the dangers of fire at home. South Wales Fire and Rescue Service is arming parents with the information they need to help keep them and their children safe in the home. Head of Community Safety, Martin Henderson says, “The kitchen is where many fires start in the home. It is crucial that parents know the facts about kitchen fire safety so they can pass on valuable knowledge to the whole family. Teaching by example can reduce the chances of having a devastating fire at home. South Wales Fire and Rescue Service is always at hand to give advice and help keep your family safe by offering home fire safety checks.” The theme for Child Safety Week is ‘Make a change. Make a difference’, highlighting that making small changes in our everyday lives can make a big difference to children’s safety. As such, the week provides an opportunity for parents in South Wales to make sure they have working smoke alarms in their homes and, as families, to teach children about the dangers of fire and what to do in the event of one breaking out. Martin continued, “A free home fire safety check from your local Firefighters can help you make these changes to make the difference. Just call 0800 169 1234 to request one today!”
Katrina Phillips, Chief Executive of Child Accident Prevention Trust says, “Just a few simple changes can keep your family safe from fire – fitting the smoke alarm that’s been gathering dust in your kitchen drawer, changing your smoke alarm for one with a silencer button so you’re not tempted to take the batteries out if it goes off accidentally while you’re cooking, and practising with your children what to do if the alarm goes off for real.” Here are top tips from South Wales Fire and Rescue Service to ensure children stay safe in the kitchen and from fire in the home: Fit and maintain a smoke alarm - you should have one on each level of your home and test it weekly. Ideal places are at the top and bottom of staircases, on stair landings, and between living and sleeping areas. Don’t remove the batteries – if your smoke alarm keeps going off accidentally while you are cooking, don’t remove the batteries. Instead move the alarm or change it for one with a silencer button. Never leave cooking unattended - If you need to leave the kitchen turn electrical appliances off and take pans off the heat. Make sure children know the kitchen is not a play area - never leave children alone in the kitchen when you're cooking and never let them play near the oven and hob. Set clear kitchen rules for kids such as: never play with matches, never switch on the cooker, never put anything on top of the cooker and don’t touch any saucepans on the cooker. Don't overload plug sockets - one plug per socket is the rule, especially if the appliance takes a lot of power (like a kettle). Be careful not to let leads trail over cookers or touch water. Nominate your child to be the ‘Escape champ’ – Regularly role-play escape routes and give children the responsibility to keep escape routes clear. Get ‘key clever’ – keys for windows and doors should always be kept in an accessible place so you can get out quickly in the event of a fire. Encourage your children to check that keys are in the correct place. Discuss how to call 999 – Make sure children know the number off by heart as well as their address. Always make sure that both are pinned up by the phone and explain the importance of only calling 999 in a real emergency In the event of a fire ‘Get out, Stay out and Dial 999!’ – Don’t delay for valuables, don’t investigate or try to tackle the fire. Use a mobile, a neighbour’s phone or a phone box to dial 999. If someone needs to be rescued wait safely outside for the firefighters who have the equipment and training to do it. Never go back in.