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Fire Safety Initiative: 'Hear the Beep Where you Sleep'

  • On Christmas Day 2011, firefighters in Stamford, Conn., made the painful decision to pull back during a battle to extinguish a house fire, knowing full well people still were trapped inside. Conditions were too dangerous for firefighters to proceed, and rescue efforts were futile. The tragedy left even the most hardened crew members devastated.

    Five members of one family died: 7-year-old twins Grace and Sarah Badger, 9-year-old Lily Badger and their grandparents, Pauline and Lomer Johnson.

    The cards were stacked against firefighters from the beginning because of how far the fire had spread before crews were notified, according to Stamford Deputy Fire Chief William Smith III. Fire officials determined the blaze was caused by embers from a fireplace that had been taken to a mudroom or trash enclosure on the first floor. The ashes still were hot, according to Chief Fire Marshal Barry Callahan.


    Smoke Alarms Dramatically Reduce Fatalities


    ​Less than one month after the fatal fire in Stamford, Deputy Chief Smith and fellow firefighters embarked on a mission with First Alert to install smoke detectors in every home.

    According to Injury Facts® 2015, a statistical report on unintentional injuries and deaths created by the National Safety Council, 2,200 deaths were caused by burns and injuries in destructive fires in 2013. Working smoke alarms cut the chances of dying in a house fire in half.


    October is Fire Prevention Month


    In Stamford, the Badger children and their grandparents reportedly were sleeping on the second floor when fire engulfed their home.

    "Hear the Beep where you Sleep" is the National Fire Protection Association slogan during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 4-10, 2015. The NFPA wants to get a message to homeowners: Make sure smoke alarms are in every bedroom, outside every sleeping area and on every level of your home, including the basement. NFPA research tells us roughly half of home fire deaths result from fires reported between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m., when most people are asleep.


    For Your Protection


    NSC provides the following tips to keep your home safe from fire:

    • Install both types of smoke alarms (ionization and photoelectric) and carbon monoxide alarms; change the batteries at least once a year in these devices
    • Plan – and practice – an escape route and agree on a meeting place outside of your home; be prepared to assist young children, family members with special needs and pets
    • Learn how to use your fire extinguisher
    • If your clothes catch on fire, stop, drop and roll
    • When evacuating, if door handles are hot, pick an alternate route; learn two ways out of every room
    • Leave your house and call for help; do not go back to help someone else


    What You Can Do to Keep Little Ones Safe


    The U.S. Fire Administration offers these tips to keep children safe from fire and burns:

    • Keep children 3 feet away from anything hot; space heaters and stove-tops can cause serious burns
    • Keep smoking materials locked up in a high place; never leave cigarette lighters or matches where children can reach them
    • Never play with lighters or matches when you are with your children; they may try to imitate you


    Remember, it's not only fire that can cause severe burns. Protect children from excessive sun exposure, and keep them away from hot water, chemicals, electricity and coin lithium batteries. (Find more on the risks of ingesting lithium batteries here.)


    How Severe is the Burn?


    The Centers for Disease Control reports there are three types of burns:

    • First-degree only affects the top layer of skin
    • Second-degree destroys top layer of skin and partially damages the second layer
    • Third-degree burns affect the inner-most layer of skin


    If you don't know how severe a burn is, call 911 or seek medical treatment. Click here for more information on first-aid for burns.


    Resources for Public Educators


    NFPA offers information and tools to help public educators teach all audiences about important fire and life safey issues.

National Fire Protection Association announces the theme of Fire Prevention Week 2015.

  • Fire Safety Tips

    A small house fire can rage out of control in minutes. Learn how to prevent a fire – and how to survive one.

  • Treat Burns

    Did you know you're not supposed to use ice, butter or ointments when treating burns? Learn how to treat all types of burns.

  • Home Fire Safety Checklist

    Frayed cords, overloaded outlets, space heaters and many other problems can cause a fire. Use this checklist to keep your home fire-proof.


National Safety Council Mission

The National Safety Council saves lives by preventing injuries and deaths at work, in homes and communities, and on the roads through leadership, research, education and advocacy.

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