It’s gettin’ HOT in the Kitchen! What’s your Prevention?

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This week is National Fire Prevention Week and the message this year is: “Prevent Kitchen Fires!”  According to the National Fire Protection Association, there are more fires started in the kitchen than any other location in the home.  Cooking; how can something so good, be the leading cause of home fires and home fire injuries in children? As cute and fun as it may be to have your Jr. Top Chef helping you cook Sunday dinner, it is quite unsafe for them to be in the kitchen.  Turning your head for just one second could result in serious injury or death for your little one. Knowing what is appropriate for your little ones age is key.  Visit: www.sparky.org for more information on what help is the right help for your children.  Here are some safety tips on fire prevention provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

  1. Never leave food unattended on or near a stove.
  2. Keep cooking areas free of flammable objects (such as, potholders and towels).
  3. Avoid wearing clothes with long, loose-fitting sleeves when cooking.
  4. Never smoke in bed or leave burning cigarettes unattended (Smoking is bad for you! Be smoke free!).
  5. Do not empty smoldering ashes in a trashcan, and keep ashtrays away from upholstered furniture and curtains.
  6. Never place portable space heaters near flammable materials (such as, drapery).
  7. Keep all matches and lighters out of reach of children.  Store them up high, preferably in a locked cabinet.
  8. Install smoke alarms on every floor of the home, including the basement, and particularly near rooms in which people sleep.
  9. Use long-life smoke alarms with lithium-powered batteries and hush buttons, which allow persons to stop false alarms quickly.  If long-life alarms are not available, use regular alarms and change batteries when you change your clocks for daylight savings.
  10. Test all smoke alarms every month to ensure they work properly.
  11. Create a family fire escape plan and practice it every 6 months.  In the plan, describe at least two different ways each family member can escape every room, and designate a safe place in front of the home for family members to meet after escaping a fire.
  12. If possible, install or retrofit fire sprinklers into the home.

Remember, to teach your kids about the importance of fire safety and the harmful effects fire can have on the body.  Children under the age of 4 are at the greatest risk of fire related injuries and death in the home and should be constantly watched while in the kitchen (CDC 2011).  Don’t let your child’s injury be the HOT topic!  Join hands with Lexlee’s Kids in caring for your kid’s safety.  If you have questions or comments about fire prevention, post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225.372.3991.

CO-Written by: Tori Wilson, 2013 Fall SLU Intern

Get Fired Up for Fire Safety!

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National Fire Prevention Week is October 9th – 15th!  Winter weather is approaching – and that means lots of holiday cooking, entertainment and increased chances of a home fire.  Here in Louisiana our winters are sometimes cold and wet, but that does not make us fireproof.  Actually, you may be in more danger of a home fire during the cold months than you are during our dry summer days due to heaters, fireplaces and holiday decorations. 

A home fire occurs every 76 seconds and more than 450 children ages 14 and under die from burn injuries each year.  Practicing basic safety precautions can help save the most valuable treasures in your home… your family.  

Follow this escape plan to make your home safe from fires and protect your children from injury.

  • Purchase a fire extinguisher for your home.  Fire extinguishers are divided into four categories (A, B, C, D and ABC), based on different types of fires.  ABC is the multipurpose dry chemical extinguisher.  It is an excellent choice to have in your home because it can be used on a variety of fires.
  • Smoke alarms should be installed on each level of your home, outside of each sleeping area and ideally inside each room. 
  • Test all smoke alarms once a month and change the batteries twice a year when you change your clocks.  Don’t wait for the chirp! Smoke alarms should be replaced every 10 years. 
  • Do not place a smoke alarm too close to a kitchen appliance or fireplace.  This may result in nuisance alarms, causing you to ignore future alarms.
  • Keep both eyes open while cooking and stay in the kitchen. Turn pan handles inward to prevent food spills. Unattended cooking is the leading cause of cooking fires.  Keep anything that can catch fire away from your stove-top.
  • Installing smoke alarms in your home is necessary, but they don’t save lives unless your troop knows the drill. Practice your fire escape plan at least twice a year and escaping from every room in your home.  Practice the escape plan with your family during day and night hours. 
  • Many children do not respond to smoke alarms when in a deep sleep.  Studies have shown that a larger number of young children respond to the sound of their parent’s voice, rather than the high pitch sound of a common smoke alarm. Voice activated smoke alarms allow parents to record a personalized message in their own voice, instructing children to wake up and escape safely during an emergency.
  • Never open doors that are hot to the touch.  Use the back of your hand to feel the top of the door, doorknob, crack between the door and door-frame to make sure fire is not on the other side.
  • Home escape ladders may be used for evacuation from a two or three story house.  Escape ladders come in two standard lengths—15 feet and 25 feet.  The shorter length is adequate for most two-story rooms, while the longer is used for three story rooms.  Make sure you check your load limits. 
  • The best plans have two ways out of each room.  If the primary exit is blocked by fire or smoke, you will need an alternative escape.
  • Designate a safe meeting place away from your home and select one person to go to a neighbor’s home to call the fire department.  Once out, stay out!  Teach kids how to get low and go if they hear the smoke alarm, smell smoke or see flames.
  • Keep matches, lighters and candles out of children’s reach.  Never smoke while lying around.  Smoking is bad for you and your children and could cause a fire.
  • Don’t wear loose-fitting clothes near any open flame. If your clothes should catch fire—stop, drop and roll. 
  • Space heaters need space; keep combustibles at least three feet away from each heater. Always unplug your electric space heater when not in use and make sure the outlet has enough capacity to support the heater.
  • Use a screen heavy enough to stop rolling logs and big enough to cover the entire opening of the fireplace to catch flying sparks. Make sure the fire is completely out before leaving the house or going to bed (fireplace and/or candles).

Remember to teach your children not to be afraid of fire fighters.  Explain that they may look scary, but are here to help!  Join hands with Lexlee’s Kids in caring for your kid’s safety. If you have questions or comments about fire safety, post here or contact Lexlee’s Kids at 225.372.3991.