A Quick Response Unit Sheet On Children & Fire

Recently your community was struck by fire. Someone died. As you continue to report about the devastating effects of this fire, the U.S. Fire Administration (USFA) encourages you to remind your audience that many fire deaths and injuries are preventable.

More than 4,000 Americans die each year in fires and more than 25,000 are injured. Many of them might be alive today if they had only had the information they needed to avoid a disaster. The following life-saving tips could make a big difference to your audience. By incorporating them in your story now, while the moment is still fresh, you could help save a life.

Did you know?

  • Eighty percent of all fire deaths occur in the home.
  • Each year about 300 people are killed and $280 million in property is destroyed in fires attributed to children playing with fire.
  • Deaths due to children playing with fire are particularly avoidable.
  • Having a working smoke alarm more than doubles one’s chances of surviving a fire.
  • Following these simple fire safety tips can boost survival rates dramatically. Please share them with your readers because knowledge is the best fire protection.

Children & Fire Life-Saving Tips

  • Keep matches, lighters and other ignitables in a secured drawer or cabinet out of the reach of children.
  • Have your children tell you when they find matches and lighters.
  • Always dress children in pajamas that meet federal flammability standards. Avoid dressing children for sleep in loose-fitting 100 percent cotton garments, such as oversized T-shirts.
  • Teach children not to hide from firefighters, but to get out quickly and call for help from another location.
  • Show children how to crawl low on the floor, below the smoke, to get out of the house and stay out.
  • Teach children a signal to alert the rest of the family to get out if they hear a smoke alarm.
  • Demonstrate how to stop, drop to the ground, and roll if clothes catch fire.
  • Develop a home fire escape plan and designate a meeting place outside.
  • Familiarize children with the sound of your smoke alarm.
  • Help your child test every smoke alarm each month and replace its batteries at least once a year.
  • Replace mattresses made prior to the 1973 Federal Mattress Flammability Standard.
  • Check under beds and in closets for burnt matches, evidence your child may be playing with fire.


A Fire Safety Factsheet for Older Adults and their Caregivers

People over the age of 65 face the greatest risk of dying in a fire. Last year, more than 1,200 Americans over the age of 65 died in home fires and 3,000 were injured in fire-related incidences. The United States Fire Administration (USFA), a directorate of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), wants older adults, their caregivers and all Americans to know that there are special precautions you can take to protect yourself and your home from fire.


Why are Older Adults at Risk?
Decreased mobility, health, sight, and hearing may limit a person’s ability to take the quick action necessary to escape during a fire emergency.

Depending on physical limitations, many of the actions an individual can take to protect themselves from the dangers of fire may require help from a caregiver, neighbor, or outside source.

Make sure smoke alarms are installed on each level of your home and outside all sleeping areas.

Test them monthly and replace the batteries at least once a year.

Caregivers are encouraged to check the smoke alarms of those who are unable to do it themselves. The chances of surviving a home fire almost doubles with the initial warning from a smoke alarm.

Planning fire escape plans around one’s capabilities is a key element to fire safety!

Know at least two exits from every room.

If you use a walker or wheelchair, check all exits to be sure they can go through the doorways.

Make any necessary accommoda-tions, such as providing exit ramps and widening doorways to facilitate an emergency escape.

Unless instructed by the fire department, never use an elevator during a fire.

Speak to your family members, building manager, or neighbors about your fire safety plan and practice it with them.

Contact your local fire department’s non-emergency line and explain your special needs.

· The fire department will probably suggest escape plan ideas and may perform a home fire safety inspection and offer suggestions about smoke alarm placement and maintenance.

Ask emergency providers to keep your special needs information on file.

Although you have the legal right to live where you choose, you’ll be safest on the ground floor if you live in an apartment building.

If you live in a multi-story home, arrange to sleep on the ground floor, and near and exit.

The leading cause of residential fire deaths among older adults is careless smoking.

If you must smoke, never smoke in bed or near an oxygen source, gas stove, or other flammable object.

When cooking, never approach an open flame while wearing loose clothing and don’t leave cooking unattended. Use a timer to remind you of food in the oven.

Don’t overload electrical outlets or extension cords.

Never use the oven to heat your home. Properly maintain chimneys and space heaters

Take special precaution if you are on medication that makes you drowsy.


Remember, fire safety is your personal responsibility …Fire Stops With You!


For More Information Contact:
The United States Fire Administration 
Office of Fire Management Programs 
16825 South Seton Avenue
Emmitsburg, MD 21727
For more information on how you can help prevent fire deaths please contact your local fire department on a nonemergency number or the United States Fire Administration at (800) 238-3358 or
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