West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is aiming to reach as many youngsters as possible with their fire safety education this Child Safety Week (5-9 June).
The national charity Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) organises the week each year to raise awareness of accidents involving children and how to prevent them.
During the awareness week firefighters will be visiting schools and other venues to talk to young people about how to stay safe at home, in school and outdoors.
Angela Spencer-Smith, Schools Education Officer for West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service, said: “The fire service is here to keep people safe, but we don’t like to just respond when things go wrong, we also do a huge amount of work to try to prevent accidents from happening in the first place.”
“Our Targeted Education Team and our firefighters work hard throughout the year supporting campaigns and coordinating educational school visits but Child Safety Week is a fantastic opportunity to spread the word of fire safety to our young ones as far and as wide as possible.
“We want every child in West Sussex to understand the dangers of fire and to know what to do should a fire break out.”
Here are West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service’s top safety tips:
• Keep lighters and matches well out of children's reach.
• Increase children's chances of avoiding serious burns by teaching them to Stop, Drop & Roll if their clothes catch fire.
• Don't leave younger children alone in the kitchen when you're cooking and never let them play near the oven and hob.
• Switch on to switching off – make sure electrical appliances are switched off when not in use and don't leave washing machines, dishwashers or tumble dryers on overnight.
• Hair straighteners can still burn 15 minutes after they are switched off so keep them out of reach of children and on a heat-proof surface to cool.
• If you smoke, stub your cigarette out properly and avoid smoking if you’re really tired (or in bed) – you may fall asleep with it in your hand.
• Make sure children know how to call 999 in an emergency. They should also know their address. Explain the importance of only calling 999 in a real emergency.
• Always leave lighting a barbecue to a responsible adult and keep children a safe distance at all times.
• A working smoke alarm can give you that vital time you need to escape safely from a fire. Fit one on each level of your home and test them weekly.
• If you are a lone parent you can request a free Safe & Well Visit. Visit www.westsussex.gov.uk/fire or call 0845 829 9719 (calls are charged at up to 7p per minute from landlines or mobiles, depending on your network provider, plus your phone company’s access charge).
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Child Safety Week visits:
• Forge Wood Primary, Crawley
• Seymour School, Crawley
• West Chiltington Primary, West Chiltington
• Jessie Younghusband School, Chichester
• Billingshurst Primary, Billingshurst
• East Preston Primary School, East Preston
• Our Lady of Heaven, Crawley
• Bramber First School, Bramber
West Sussex Fire & Rescue Service is at the heart of West Sussex County Council's Communities and Public Protection Directorate, working to support communities to become safer, stronger and more resilient through a combination of prevention, protection and response activities.