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Beware of teatime terrors this Child Safety Week

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Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Service (HWFRS), as part of the Fire Kills campaign, is encouraging local families and child carers to tackle teatime terrors and to stay safe as part of Child Safety Week 2015, run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust from 1 to 7 June.

Station Commander Alan Haley from the HWFRS Community Risk Department said: "Half of all accidental fires in the home start in the kitchen - often because of distractions like family or the phone ringing. Whatever happens elsewhere in the house, always make sure you have one eye on the hob or oven.

"Another really vital thing mums and dads can do to keep their family safe is talk to their kids about the importance of fire safety and make sure they know what to do if the worst happens. Fitting smoke alarms and involving the children in testing it regularly can also help keep them fire-aware and – most importantly – provide the vital seconds you need to escape in a fire. This could develop a life-saving habit for the future."

Katrina Philips, the CEO of the Child Accident Prevention Trust, said, "Preventing deaths and serious injury from accidents lies at the heart of Child Safety Week. Families can take simple steps to protect themselves from the devastation caused by fire; testing smoke alarms, putting matches and candles out of reach and keeping escape routes clear all take a few moments. We are delighted that fire and rescue authorities are supporting the Week and families to make a real difference to protecting children."

Here are HWFRS's top tips for a safer home:

Keep safe in the kitchen – Make sure children know that the kitchen is not a play area - never leave younger children alone in the kitchen when you're cooking and never let them play near the oven and hob.

Nominate your child to be the 'Escape champ' – Regularly role-play escape routes and give children the responsibility to keep escape routes clear.

Get 'key clever' – Encourage your children to check that keys are in the correct place. Keys for windows and doors should always be kept in an accessible place so you can get out quickly in the event of a fire.

Discuss how to call 999 – Make sure children know which number to call in an emergency. They should also know their address. You can pin both up by the phone; explain the importance of only calling 999 in a real emergency.

Fit and test smoke alarms regularly – A working smoke alarm can give you the vital time you need to escape a house fire. You should have one on each level of your home and test it weekly.

Don't remove the batteries – If your smoke alarm keeps going off accidentally while you are cooking, don't remove the batteries. Instead move the alarm or change it for one with a silencer button.

In the event of a fire 'Get out, Stay out, Call 999!' – Don't delay for valuables, don't investigate or try to tackle the fire. Use a mobile, a neighbour's phone or a phone box to call 999. If someone needs to be rescued wait safely outside for the firefighters who have the equipment and training to do it. Never go back in.

For advice on fire safety, please go to www.gov.uk/firekills or www.hwfire.org.uk

To find out more about Child Safety Week go to the CAPT website www.childsafetyweek.org.uk

Issued by Emma Roberts,
Senior Community Safety Administrator,
01905 368238