Family fire safety plans could save lives - KAIT Jonesboro, AR - Region 8 News, weather, sports

Family fire safety plans could save lives

By Amanda Hanson - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) - Monday's fatal fire is a tragic reminder of the importance of being prepared. The fire took the life of an adult woman and a child. When a fire strikes, children are often the most vulnerable. It's important for parents to make sure their children know what to do.

"We're so busy. We don't think about this (fire safety) until something of this nature happens," says Marty Hamrick, who is a Division Chief with the Jonesboro Fire Department.

According to the U.S. Fire Administration, half of all child fire deaths involved children under five-years-old. "They're more susceptible to the toxins that are in the smoke. Plus, they just get scared and don't know what to do," says Hamrick, which is why he says it's important to have a plan.

"At schools that have fire drills every month, have fire drills at home," says Hamrick, and talk to your children about how to get out safely during a fire emergency.

The U.S.F.A recommends teaching your children:

-to stay low if the smoke detector goes off, because the smoke will rise.

-not to hide from firefighters.

-and designate a place to meet.

One of the most common places is the mail box. "You all don't have to go out the same direction as long as you meet," says Hamrick.

He even recommends sleeping with your bedroom door closed. "That's going to buy you some time. If a fire starts in the kitchen or the living room, that closes off your bedroom and makes it a more survivable space for a longer period of time."

More importantly, test your smoke detectors at least once a month, and make sure your kids know what it sounds like. Hamrick says, if your house is on fire, the main thing is to get out. "Go over your plan and make sure everybody knows the way out. Once you're out, stay out. Don't go back in for anything."

If you have not sat down with your children about fire safety, don't wait until it's too late. Do it now. For more life-saving tips just go to http://www.usfa.dhs.gov/

 Copyright 2011 KAIT. All rights reserved.

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