Residents urged to 'Stay Fire Smart! Don't Get Burned"

Sunday, September 27, 2009

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 Greencastle Fire Department is teaming up with the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) for Fire Prevention Week 2009 -- Oct. 4 through 10 -- to urge Putnam County 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 escape from a home in case a fire occurs.

The statistics are staggering. Each year roughly 3,000 people dies 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.

"The most common types of burn injuries result from fire or flame burns, scalds and contact burns," said Chief Bill Newgent. "Burns are painful and can result in serious scarring and even death. When we take extra caution in our homes to ensure that the curling iron is out of children's reach or pot handles are turned away from the edge of the stove, such injuries are entirely preventable. Keeping our homes safe from fire and preventing devastating burn injuries is a healthy change we can make happen."

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.

* Never hold a child in your arms while preparing hot food or drinking a hot beverage.

* Be careful when using things 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 showerheads 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.

To kick off National Fire Prevention Week, the Greencastle Fire Department is hosting its 9th Annual Open House event.

An invitation is extended to everyone to come out and visit the station and emergency vehicles. There will be free food, games and activities.

For more information on "Stay Fire Smart! Don't Get Burned,"


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