Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Home Safety Council Releases New Educational Program: Start Safe: A Fire and Burn Safety Education Program for Preschoolers and Their Families

Today I was excited to learn that the Home Safety Council released its newest education program for preschoolers and their families. Start Safe: A Fire and Burn Safety Education Program for Preschoolers and Their Families.

Fires and burns are a big problem in America for preschool-aged children. Each year, thousands are injured or killed from accidents in the home that could be prevented. The Home Safety Council has teamed up with Weekly Reader Custom Publishing on Start Safe: A Fire and Burn Safety Program for Preschoolers and their Families.

Funded through a grant from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security/Office of Domestic Preparedness, Start Safe provides resources for preschool teachers and administrators to work hand-in-hand with a local fire department. Working together, using developmentally-appropriate teaching tools from Start Safe, teachers and local fire safety experts can deliver life-saving lessons to the preschoolers. Perhaps even more importantly, they can also reach parents and caregivers with key safety messages and help them take action to reduce the risk of fires and burns at home.

Tools for Educators

Additional program materials will be added in the coming weeks.

A national Start Safe training program was conducted by HSC in Orlando, Florida, on April 26-28, 2009. Funded in part through a generous donation from Tyco International, the training brought together 12 teams of Head Start teachers, parents and fire and life safety educators to introduce them to the Start Safe program and provide best practices for implementation.

The Home Safety Council will formally evaluate the Start Safe program during a 10-week pilot test and use the findings to revise the guidance materials for program implementation. Start Safe will be distributed to 6,700 Head Start preschool classrooms across America, and in August 2009, the free program will be offered to the fire service through HSC’s Expert Network resource: www.homesafetycouncil.org/expertnetwork.

According to Meri-K Appy, President of the Home Safety Council, "Safety Saturday" will be held September 26 at local Lowe's stores. More information on the national event will be coming soon.

NFPA Kicks Off National Electrical Safety Month

The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) is kicking off National Electrical Safety Month (May) by reminding the public to be aware of the risks associated with the use of electricity, and providing safety tips to assist individuals in taking steps to reduce the risk of experiencing a home electrical fire.

In recent years, an average of 53,000 home electrical fires have been reported per year. These fires resulted in an average of 500 deaths, 1,400 injuries, and $1.5 billion in direct property damage per year. One of every seven home fires was an electrical fire. Any type of equipment that uses electricity may be involved in an electrical fire. Some type of electrical distribution equipment such as wiring, light switches, outlets, cords, and plugs or lighting equipment was involved in roughly half of the home electrical fires. There are also many home electrical fires involving air conditioners, fans, clothes dryers and appliances.

"Whether you are actively flipping a switch, inserting a plug, or simply enjoying all the electric-powered appliances in your home, the risk of fire may not be on your mind," said Lorraine Carli, NFPA's vice president of communications. "Most electrical fires can be easily avoided. The first step in preventing them is to be aware of the danger, the second is to learn the rules of fire safety and then put them into practice."

NFPA has resources for educators HERE.