Fire chief gives safety talk for pre-school children

Beds chief fire officer Paul Fuller at Haven 2000 Nursery and Pre-school, Bedford.
Beds chief fire officer Paul Fuller at Haven 2000 Nursery and Pre-school, Bedford.

Bedfordshire’s fire chief has met pre-school children to give them safety advice.

Paul Fuller, Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service’s chief fire officer, visited The Haven 2000 nursery and pre-school on Tuesday, October 20 to talk to children and their carers about safety ahead of National Burns Awareness Day.

Chief fire officer Paul Fuller at Haven 2000 Nursery and Pre-school, Bedford.

Chief fire officer Paul Fuller at Haven 2000 Nursery and Pre-school, Bedford.

Mr Fuller, who is also a trustee of the Children’s Burns Trust, said: “Children need to be aware of the risks of being burnt. They are increasingly wearing fancy dress costumes not only at times like Halloween but also throughout the year as they dress up as film characters and superheroes. It’s not uncommon for them to wear these costumes to bed as well and this is increasing the chance of a terrible accident.”

Maria Riley, manager of Haven 2000, said: “We gathered up all our fancy dress costumes and discovered they either didn’t have any labels or the labels they had said ‘keep away from fire’. We tried to buy costumes that weren’t flammable but couldn’t find any that said they were flame retardant. So we got masks for the children to wear instead. We’ll be passing on the information the chief gave us to parents not just about costumes but hot drinks as well.”

A young child’s skin is 15 times thinner than an adult’s and they don’t know they should pull away from heat, and a burn or scald at this age could need years of repeated surgery as the child grows, because scarred tissue does not grow with them.

Mr Fuller added: “We need to make sure that we protect children from this painful life and to do this, we need to recognise that everyday things such as running baths, leaving hair straighteners or saucepans unattended, and even having a hot cuppa, can be potential dangers to children.

“Through the Chief Fire Officer’s Association and Children’s Burns Trust we will be working with government to ensure parents are aware of the potential dangers from fancy dress costumes and campaign for the regulations to be improved.”

National Burns Awareness Day was held on Wednesday, October 21. There is advice about fire safety at Halloween, bonfire night and Dawali on the Bedfordshire fire and Rescue Service website at www.bedsfire.com Visit www.cbtrust.org.uk