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Kidsafe and the MFB issue red alert over holiday fire escape plans

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27 Dec 2009
Kidsafe and the Metropolitan Fire & Emergency Services Board (MFB) urge families to use the holiday time to practice their fire escape plan with their children.

This is particularly important during the summer holidays as risk of bushfire is heightened and families may be on holidays in unfamiliar destinations.

Dr Mark Stokes, President of Kidsafe Victoria cautioned, “Parents need to ensure that they prepare a home escape plan with their children as a matter of urgency, particularly when holidaying in an unfamiliar destination. Teach your children what to expect in a fire.”

Commander Frank Stockton from MFB’s Community Education Department recommends all families visit the www.homefiresafety.com.au website for further detailed information.

Preventing injury in the case of a fire is about being prepared. Kidsafe and the MFB provide the following tips to parents:

At Home

  • Install smoke alarms; test them monthly and replace their batteries each year at the end of daylight saving. MFB recommends photo-electric smoke alarms
  • Regularly practice a home escape plan
  • Have fire extinguishers and fire blankets easily accessible in your home; place these at least three metres away from the potential source of a fire, such as a stove, oven or fireplace, to ensure access is not impeded
  • Keep emergency numbers by the phone.

When Camping

  • Prepare a fire escape plan based on your area; involve your children in the planning of this so they are more aware of what they need to do in case of an incident
  • Ensure you have a clearly designated meeting place
  • If you light the fire, you must put it out before going to bed or leaving the camp. Many bush fires start because camp fires have been left unattended
  • Ensure there is a first aid kit on site and preferably a first aid trained adult
  • Check with authorities if any fire restrictions are in place.

In Case of a Fire

  • Teach children to ‘Get down low and go, go, go’ when there is smoke in the area
  • If a child’s clothes catch on fire, teach them to ‘Stop, drop, cover and roll’
  • Teach children to phone 000 so they can call the fire service in the case of a fire

All families should be prepared for a fire by discussing and implementing these simple strategies with their children. By following these steps you are minimising the risk of fire-related injury or death to your child.

For tips on how to prepare a fire escape plan visit: www.homefiresafety.com.au/escape_plan.html

Media Enquiries:

Ron Smith, Kidsafe Corporate Media Communications: 0417 329 201
Mark Stokes, President, Kidsafe Victoria: 0408 038 267
Commander Frank Stockton, Manager Community Education, MFB: 0417 549 704

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