Fire Department Safety Tips

Accidents kill one million children each year around the world and permanently disable many more. More children between the ages of 1 to 14 die from accidents involving fires and drowning than any other cause. Almost all of these injuries are preventable.

Fires remain a leading cause of unintentional, injury-related death among children in the United States. Simply installing smoke alarms on every level of your home and in every sleeping area cuts the chances of dying in a home fire in half. Keeping matches, lighters and other heat sources out of childrenís reach can help eliminate child-play fires, the leading cause of fire-related death for children 5 and under. Preparation and education are key elements of preventing fire tragedies. Planning and practicing a fire escape route with your family and talking to your children about what to expect in a fire are simple preventative steps anyone can take. A prepared child is more likely to escape a house fire unharmed.

Despite a 40 percent decline since 1987, drowning is still the second leading cause of unintentional, injury-related death in children ages 1 to 14, taking more than 900 childrenís lives each year. For every child who drowns, four more are hospitalized for near drowning. Drownings and near-drownings tend to occur on the weekend (40 percent) and between the months of May and August (62 percent). Most drownings and near-drownings occur in residential swimming pools. More than half of these drownings take place in the childís home pool, and one-third occur at the homes of friends, neighbors or relatives. However, itís important to know that children, especially younger ones, can also drown in as little as 1 inch of water. This puts them at risk of drowning in wading pools, bathtubs, buckets, diaper pails, toilets, spas and hot tubs. A child should never be unsupervised in or near water, even shallow wading pools.

For any additional information, please call the El Paso Fire Department Public Education/ Public Affairs Division at (915) 771-1090.