Tuesday, October 6, 2009

National Fire Prevention Week -- check for products with burn or fire hazards

It being National Fire Prevention Week, we'd like to reemphasize the threat fire or burns can pose to your children and to offer some advice on protecting them.

Many safety groups have great tips for avoiding fire and burn injuries. Here are just a few..
  • Never leave the stove or oven unattended in a child's presence.
  • Keep space heaters at least 3 ft away from all curtains, papers or clothing.
  • Make sure there are smoke detectors in all bedrooms and throughout the home (test them monthly).
But being careful ourselves is unfortunately not enough. Unsafe children's products can also present a burn or fire danger. A Kids In Danger report found that between 2002-2007 there were 40 child product recalls for fire and burn hazards, with toys (47%) and clothing (30%) taking up the lion's share. Most injuries during this period resulted from battery failure, but flammability and electric failure are also serious concerns. The Hasbro Easy-Bake oven, for instance, had the highest number of injuries (87) throughout the five-year period. Also watch out for ignitable clothing, especially during the Halloween season. Tragedies do happen, so make sure your child's costume is made of flame-resistant materials.

These dangerous products could still be in your home, even if they'd been formally recalled years ago. To be safe, take an inventory of all children's products in your home and visit the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) website to check their recall status or call their hotline at (800) 638-2772.

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