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Fire Prevention Week offers tips for staying safe

Once a child touches a hot stove, as the cliché goes—he learns his lesson: stay away from a hot stove. This cliché does not take into account the pain and suffering from burns, and burns should not be part of the learning process.

That’s why the Alabama Department of Public Health is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association for Fire Prevention Week 2009 – Oct. 4-10 – to urge Alabama residents to “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned.”

This year’s campaign focuses on ways to keep homes fire safe and prevent painful burns.

Additionally, fire safety educators will be teaching local residents how to plan and practice escaping from a home in case a fire occurs.

The statistics are staggering. Each year roughly 3,000 people die as a result of home fires and burns, and more than 200,000 individuals are seen in the nation’s emergency rooms for burn injuries.

In Alabama in 2008, there were 73 deaths from fires and 70 percent of fires involved residential dwellings. The total number of deaths by month were during 2008 were October, 11; March, 10; January and February, 8; December and April, 7; November and May, 5; July and August, 4, and June and September, 2.

By following simple safety rules, you can “Stay Fire Smart! Don’t Get Burned.”

– Keep hot foods and liquids away from tables and counter edges so they cannot be pulled or knocked over.

– Have a 3-foot “kid-free” zone around the stove. 
 n Never hold a child in your arms while preparing hot food or drinking a hot beverage.

– Be careful when using items that get hot such as curling irons, oven, irons, lamps, heaters.

– Install tamper-resistant receptacles to prevent a child from sticking an object in the outlet.

– Never leave a child alone in a room with a lit candle, portable heater, lit fireplace or stove, or where a hot appliance might be in use.

– Wear short or close-fitting sleeves when cooking.

– Set your hot water temperature no higher than 120 degrees.

– Install anti-scald valves on shower heads and faucets.

Fire Prevention Week is actively supported by fire departments across the country. For 85 years fire departments have observed Fire Prevention Week, making it the longest running public health and safety observance on record.