Media Release: Fire remains a leading cause of death for children 14 and younger

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Fire Prevention Week October 9 through 15

10-09-2011 (Dayton, OH) -

As the weather starts to turn colder, the risk of fires increases significantly. Each year, approximately 488 children ages 14 and younger die in residential fires.  An average of 116,600 children are injured from a fire/burn-related incident, each year. The Children’s Medical Center of Dayton and Safe Kids Greater Dayton are joining the National Fire Protection Associationto urge families to focus on burn prevention and awareness, as well as take active measures to help prevent fires in their homes during Fire Prevention Week, October 9 through 15. This year’s theme is “It's Fire Prevention Week! Protect Your Family From Fire!”

 Approximately 80 percent of all fire-related deaths and injuries occur in the home. Young children are at a particularly high risk because they do not perceive danger as quickly and can lack the ability to escape a life-threatening burn situation.

“A burn can be incredibly painful and it’s especially important for parents to realize what types of injuries are common for their child’s age,” said Jessica Saunders, injury prevention coordinator at Dayton Children’s and Safe Kids Greater Dayton coordinator.

“Thermal burns from contact with a hot surface or a flame cause the greatest number of burns in children.  However, children ages 4 and younger are hospitalized in burn centers more for scalds from hot liquids, while children ages 5 to15 are hospitalized more for fire/flame burns.”

Dayton Children’s and Safe Kids Greater Dayton provide seven fire and burn prevention safety tips:

  1. Set your water heater thermostat to 120 degrees Fahrenheit. Consider installing water faucets and shower heads containing anti-scald technology.
  2. Keep matches, gasoline, lighters and all other flammable materials locked away and out of children’s reach and teach them never to touch these items.
  3. Never leave a burning candle unattended. Place candles in a safe location away from combustible materials and where children or pets cannot tip them over.
  4. Keep children away from cooking and heating appliances, and never leave the kitchen while you are cooking. Use back burners and turn pot handles to the back of the stove when cooking.
  5. Place space heaters at least 3 feet from curtains, papers, furniture and other flammable materials. Always turn space heaters off when leaving the room or going to bed.
  6. Install smoke alarms on every level of the home, outside every sleeping area, and in each bedroom. Test them every month and change the batteries once a year, even if they are hard-wired. Smoke alarms are also available with 10-year lithium batteries.
  7. Consider a home sprinkler system. The combination of smoke alarms and sprinklers can reduce your chances of dying in a fire by 82 percent.


            “In an average lifetime, one in 10 households will have a person injured in a fire,” said Saunders. “To prepare for an emergency, parents should plan several escape routes out of their home and then designate a safe place to meet. Then practice with your kids so they know exactly what to do. Teach children never to go back into a burning building, and to call the fire department from a neighbor’s home or a cell phone outside.”

Experts at Dayton Children’s and the National Fire Prevention Agency remind parents that many young children die because they try to hide from fire. They are often found under beds, in closets or under tables.

Tell children the following:

  1. Children should not hide from a fire, but rather escape.
  2. Remind them not to be afraid of firefighters - even though their uniform and mask may look scary, firefighters are there to rescue people.

Since 1922, NFPA has organized National Fire Prevention Week annually. For more information, visit, call 937-641-3385 or visit

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Phone: 937-641-3666


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