North Staffordshire firefighters will be raising awareness of fire safety in the home during Child Safety Week, 20th – 26th June.
"Fire can be very fascinating to watch, but children of all ages often don’t realise the consequences of their actions."
Head of Risk Reduction, Ian Sloss
Firefighters will be at Festival Park on the 21st and 22nd June to talk to parents about fire safety in the home. They will be taking referrals for Home Fire Risk Checks and children will be kept entertained by the Service’s mascot, Welephant, who will also be taking applications for the free Welephant Club for four to eight year olds. Firefighters will also be visiting the local children’s centres throughout the week.
Reducing fire risk to children is an ongoing task for Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service. Head of Risk Reduction, Ian Sloss said: "It’s important that parents and guardians talk to their children about fire safety and set a good example to help them stay safer together.
"Already this year we’ve had house fires caused by children playing with matches and lighters and we have also had issues with older children who are deliberating setting fire to grass and bins. Fire can be very fascinating to watch, but children of all ages often don’t realise the consequences of their actions."
Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s top tips for a safer home are:
• Don’t let your child play with fire - Keep candles, lighters and matches well out of children’s reach, and never leave burning candles unattended.
• Keep safe in the kitchen - Make sure children know that the kitchen is not a play area - never leave younger children alone in the kitchen when you're cooking and never let them play near the oven and hob.
• Socket safety - Teach children not to poke anything, including fingers, into sockets.
• 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’ – encourage your children to check that keys are in the correct place. 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.
• Discuss how to call 999 – Make sure children know which number to call in an emergency. They should also know their address. You can pin both up by the phone; explain the importance of only calling 999 in a real emergency.
• Book a free Home Fire Risk Check - The check includes the fitting of free smoke alarms and fire safety advice, including escape routes. Ring FREEPHONE 0800 0241 999 or book online at: http://www.staffordshirefire.gov.uk/bookyourhfrc.asp
• Fit and maintain a smoke alarm – A working smoke alarm can give you the vital time you need to escape a house fire. You should have one on each level of your home and test it weekly.
• 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.
• In the event of a fire ‘Get out, Stay out, Call 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 call 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.