Greater Ozarks Chapter Encourages Families to
Talk to Children about Home Fire Safety
October 8, 2009
Springfield, MO –As the seasons change and we move closer to experiencing colder weather, there will be an increase in the number of fires occurring in the Ozarks. In the last week alone, members of the Disaster Action Team (DAT) of the Greater Ozarks Chapter of the American Red Cross responded to 9 fires in the 29 counties the chapter serves. During the winter season this number increases to an average of two fires per day.
The American Red Cross is offering tips for parents to reduce their risk of fires and talk with their children about fire safety.
“Parents can reduce their risk of home fires by taking a few simple steps,” said Chris Harmon, Director of Emergency Services for the Greater Ozarks Chapter. “We want families to have the information and resources they need to educate their children and reduce their risk of a home fire tragedy.”
The American Red Cross recommends that adults:
ü Keep matches, lighters and other ignitable substances in a secured location out of the reach of children.
ü Always dress children in pajamas that meet federal flammability standards. Avoid loose-fitting, 100-percent cotton garments.
ü Develop and practice your home fire escape plan with your children at least twice a year.
ü Familiarize children with the sound of your smoke alarm and teach them what to do when they hear it.
ü Teach your children not to be scared of firefighters. Take them to your local fire department to meet them, see the gear they wear, and learn about fire safety and prevention.
ü Teach your children to tell you or a responsible adult when they find matches or lighters at home or school.
ü Check under beds and in closets for burnt matches; evidence your child may be playing with fire.
ü Install smoke alarms on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Having a working smoke alarm reduces the risk of dying in a home fire by nearly half.
For more Red Cross fire safety and preparedness information, visit www.redcross.org/homefires.
DAT members are volunteers with the Greater Ozarks Chapter and have received specialized training in various aspects of disaster response, including casework interviews, damage assessment, sheltering and feeding, health services and crisis counseling. DAT members also have the full support of the chapter for additional personnel and resources if needed. For information about training to become a Red Cross volunteer, please call 866-206-0256 EXT. 200 or visit www.redcross-ozarks.org/volunteer.
American Red Cross disaster assistance is free, made possible by voluntary donations of time and money from the American people. To help the victims of local disasters, financial contributions can be mailed to: American Red Cross, 1545 N. West Bypass Springfield, MO 65803.
Public Information Officer
Financial Development Assistant
American Red Cross
Greater Ozarks Chapter
1545 N. West Bypass
Springfield, MO. 65803
417-832-9500 EXT. 107
Toll Free: 1-866-206-0256 EXT. 107
October is Fire Prevention Month-The most effective way to protect yourself and your home from fire is to identify and remove fire hazards. Sixty-five percent of home fire deaths occur in homes with no working smoke alarms. During a home fire, working smoke alarms and a fire escape plan that has been practiced regularly can save lives!
Click on the link www.redcross.org/BeRedCrossReady for more information!