Thursday, February 17, 2011

FEMA, NATIONAL COMMISSION ON CHILDREN AND DISASTERS ANNOUNCE NEW PARTNERSHIP TO PROMOTE FIRE SAFETY AWARENESS FOR FAMILIES

FEMA, NATIONAL COMMISSION ON CHILDREN AND DISASTERS ANNOUNCE NEW PARTNERSHIP TO PROMOTE FIRE SAFETY AWARENESS FOR FAMILIES
Announcement Comes as FEMA Releases New Report Showing Children Under Four at Growing Risk of Death or Injury in Fires

PHILADELPHIA – With home fires on the rise in winter months, and a new study showing that young children are at an especially high risk of getting seriously injured or dying in residential fires, today the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the National Commission on Children and Disasters are announcing a new public awareness campaign to help keep children and families safer from the threat of home fires.

As part of this effort, FEMA’s U.S. Fire Administration is releasing a new report on the risks fires pose to children. The report, which is based on the latest available data released by the National Center for Health Statistics, found that young children face the greatest – and a growing – risk of death or serious injury in home fires. As such, 52 percent of all child fire deaths in 2007 involved children under the age of four. This was a slight increase from the most recent study previously conducted in 2004. Click here for a copy of the report.

“When you take some time this week to practice and learn about proper fire safety for families, especially children, you are taking the initial steps toward protecting your household from the risks and dangers associated with fires,” said FEMA Region III Regional Administrator
Ms. MaryAnn Tierney. “Practicing proper fire safety will help you to empower yourself as well as your family to become household emergency managers.”

In addition, the report found that:

• Deaths from fires and burns were the second leading cause of accidental deaths not related to transportation, after drowning;
• Boys are at higher-risk of dying from fires than girls;
• Between 2006 and 2008, smoke alarms were not present in at least 23 percent of residential fires;
• African-American children are at an increased risk of fire deaths; and
• Low-income children are at greatest risk of exposure to home fires.

To help families protect their homes and loved ones - especially young children - from fires, FEMA, the U.S. Fire Administration and the National Commission on Children and Disasters are asking families to take simple steps now to prevent fires in their residences, and partnering with leading organizations across the fire, emergency medical services, public health and emergency management fields to get the message out.

To provide families with important tips about fire safety and lists of additional resources, FEMA is launching online and social media tools, including:

• An updated web page dedicated to children’s fire safety, including tips on how to prevent the two leading causes of fire during the winter months: cooking and heating;
• A widget that will link to this website and resources;
• A Facebook tab; and
• A dedicated Twitter hashtag to engage the public in a dialogue about how to protect kids from fires.

Among other things, these updated tools will offer tips for how to prevent the two leading causes of fires during the winter months: heating and cooking.

To view the updated web page and the widget, click here.

Follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/fema.