Fire chief meets pupils as Burns Awareness Day highlights dangers to children

Lakeview School
Lakeview School

The county’s fire chief visited a primary school to help spread a campaign on preventing burns.

Paul Fuller, chief fire officer and chair of trustees of the Children’s Burns Trust, visited Lakeview Primary School in Wixams the day before Burns Awareness Day on October 18.

He spoke to a group of year 6 children about ‘Stop, drop and roll’ which is used when clothing catches fire, and is timely as Halloween is approaching.

Bedfordshire Fire and Rescue Service is raising awareness that fancy dress costumes are categorised as toys and therefore not subject to the same fire retardant requirements as children’s clothing.

Mr Fuller said: “A shocking number of children and adults suffer accidental burns each and every day. Parents and carers can make a game of teaching their children to ‘Stop, drop and roll’ if their costume does catch light. This means having them practice stopping still, dropping to the ground, covering their face with hands, and rolling over and over to put the flames out.

“We want people to enjoy Halloween and Bonfire night safely. Battery operated candles are the safest way to light up scary things at Halloween but if you do have naked flames around make sure pumpkins, candles and other lights are placed well away from anything that can burn. Don’t put them too close to paths where ‘trick or treaters’ will walk - their flowing costumes might catch fire.”

Last year, 4,081 children under the age of 5 were so badly burnt that they had to be admitted to a NHS specialist burns service.

Anita Evans, Head teacher at Lakeview School said: “We were delighted to work with the fire service to raise awareness of fire safety. The session was fun, interactive and informative and it was an excellent opportunity to work alongside the fire crew to focus on this key message at this time of year.”

Keep your children safe from harm:

•Install smoke alarms on each floor and test regularly

•Keep hot drinks out of reach of babies and young children

•Make and practice Fire Escape Plans with the whole family

•Run COLD water first in the bath or sink before adding hot water – test the temperature

•Install thermostatic mixing valves in all hot water outlets

•Keep saucepans at the back of the stove NOT near the front – turn handles to the back

•Keep kettles, irons, hair straighteners or wires out of reach

•Keep secure fire screens in front of open fires, heaters & radiators

•Store matches and lighters out of reach

•Store chemicals, cleaners and acids out of reach

Don’t:

•Drink hot drinks while nursing/holding a baby or child

•Put a baby or child into a bath or sink until the water has been tested

•Warm baby bottles in the microwaves

•Leave hair straighteners unattended

•Allow children near BBQs or garden chemicals

•Allow children near fireworks

•Leave children unattended

Follow @CBTofficial, and the hashtags #Be BurnsAware #CoolCallCover for more.