74 percent of all U.S. fire deaths occur in the home, according to the National Fire Protection Association. NFPA also warns that when a home fire occurs, it’s more likely to be serious. People are more likely to die in a home fire today than they were in 1980, because modern materials burn faster and hotter. You may have as little as 2 minutes to get out from the time the smoke alarms sound.
That’s why NFPA’s theme for Fire Prevention Week 2022 is “Fire Won’t Wait. Plan Your Escape™”
Everyone in your household should take part in planning your escape:
Disasters and emergencies—fires, floods, storms and other hazards — can happen at any time, in any location. Launched in 2004, National Preparedness Month is FEMA’s national annual preparedness outreach to remind us all of the need to be prepared for such emergencies, whether evacuating and sheltering.
Most parents and caregivers just cannot believe that they would ever “forget” their child in a vehicle. And that disbelief makes it hard for them to hear important messages about hot car dangers. They just don’t think the messages apply to them.
Kids and Car Safety wants us to know: “In most situations this happens to the most loving, caring and protective parents…It can happen to anyone.” Their advice for making sure your child is never left alone in a car:
Make it a habit to open the back door every time you park.
Place the child’s diaper bag or item in the front passenger seat as a visual cue that the child is with you.
Ask your childcare provider to call you right away if your child hasn’t arrived as scheduled.
Make sure children can’t get into a parked car. Keep vehicles locked at all times, especially in the garage or driveway.
Nicole Hughes has a crucial message for parents and other adults: Don’t assume children are being supervised and kept safe from hazards just because there’s a lot of people around.
Hughes’ 3-year-old son drowned in a swimming pool after slipping out of a roomful of a dozen adults, half of whom were physicians.
“Without realizing it, subconsciously you’re letting your guard down when there’s a bunch of people around,” says Hughes, who now works with the American Academy of Pediatrics on water safety, in a New York Times article. “When ‘everybody’s watching the kid, then nobody’s watching.”
Her advice pertains not only to drowning prevention but to other summer injury hazards such as keeping children at least 3 feet away from grills and campfires.
Adults also need to remember that drowning remains a risk as children get older. Supervision is still essential, and no one should swim alone.
Lifespan offers regular classes to help seniors and their families prevent falls. Coming up this summer:
TAI CHI FOR ARTHRITIS & FALL PREVENTION-PART 1 AT THE MAPLEWOOD ROSE GARDEN
Thursdays, June 2 – August 5, 2022, 11-11:45 am. This class is held in-person at the Maplewood Rose Garden. Click here for more information and to register.
A MATTER OF BALANCE IN IRONDEQUOIT
Irondequoit Recreation Center
Tuesdays, June 14 to August 23, 2022, 1-3 pm. Registration is required, can be completed through the Irondequoit Recreation Center and can be accessed here.
TAI CHI FOR ARTHRITIS AND FALL PREVENTION [IN-PERSON]
Lifespan Main Office
Tuesdays & Fridays, 3-3:45 pm, June 14-August 9, 2022. Click here for more information and to register.
FALLING INTO AWARENESS: AN HONEST CHAT ABOUT FALL PREVENTION
Lifespan Main Office.
Thursday, June 23, 2022, 1-2pm. A 1-hour panel discussion led by experts in the field of balance and preventing falls. Bring your fall-related questions, and get ready to feel empowered and enlightened! Click here for more information and to register.
TAI CHI FOR ARTHRITIS IN THE TOWN OF RUSH
Rush Firehouse, 1971 Rush Mendon Rd
Mondays & Thursdays, July 11- Aug 30, 2022, 9 – 9:45 am. Seated or standing. Sixteen 45-minute to 1-hour sessions, twice a week for 8 weeks or once a week for 16 weeks. Registration is through the Town of Rush and can be accessed here. If you are having any difficulty registering, please email our Lifespan Health & Wellness program manager at email@example.com.
Interpreting services, translation services, and additional accommodations are available upon request (with advanced notice).
Servicios de interpretación disponibles con solicitud previa. Por favor, dejenos saber con anticipación. Favor de llamar (585) 244-8400 y marque 9.
It’s time to throw open the windows—but do so carefully. Windows rank as one of the top hidden hazards in our homes (Learn about the others here). An average of eight children age 5 and younger die and more than 3,300 are injured each year from falling out of windows (SafeKids Worldwide, 2022). The Window Safety Task Force provides these tips to help protect children from accidental window falls:
Don’t rely on insect screens to prevent a fall. Insect screens are designed to keep bugs out, not to keep children in the home.
When opening a window for ventilation, use those located out of a child’s reach.
Supervise children to keep child’s play away from windows, balconies or patio doors.
Avoid placing furniture near windows to prevent young children from climbing and gaining access to an open window.
Use only cordless window coverings or those with inaccessible cords in homes with young children. Free retrofit kits are available through the Window Covering Safety Council.
Don’t forget to look to windows when planning your home fire drill and emergency escape routes. You should plan two possible ways out of any room, especially bedrooms, in case the door can’t be used because of smoke or fire. That second exit is probably a window. Make sure the window can be opened, and practice doing so.
If anyone in your home has some hearing loss, they may have trouble hearing basic smoke alarms, because the sound they emit is high pitched. Now imagine if that person were asleep when the alarm goes off. Would it wake them? Consider these alternatives:
Vibrate or Shaker Smoke Alarms. These use a vibrating device to shake a bed or chair to awaken and alert you of fire.
A strobe smoke alarm. Strobe Alarms use an extra bright strobe light to alert you of fire. Some strobe alarms also include a vibrator device.
Even for smoke alarms that have long-life batteries—or are hard-wired—it’s still important to make sure the alarm is working. Not every single long-life battery will work for 10 years, and even hard-wired alarms can fail. So yes, you should still test your smoke alarms at least twice a year — the Daylight Saving Time change is a good reminder—and once a month is better, as recommended by the National Fire Protection Association.
Our “Test Your Alarms” message includes your CO detector. The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends pushing the test button on your CO detector (which tests whether the circuitry is operating correctly), to replace the detector at the age recommended by the manufacturer, and most importantly to go outside to fresh air immediately if it goes off.
That goes for smoke alarms too: When the alarms go off, you get out. Searching for the source of the CO or the fire could be a fatal mistake.
Why practice a home fire drill? Because even the best alarm can only protect your family if everyone knows what to do when it goes off. And if that happens at night when people are sleeping—the time when most fatal fires occur—it can be harder than you think to get up and out quickly.
Make sure hallways are kept clear of clutter and that everyone knows at least two ways of getting out—one of them may be a window—especially from bedrooms. Make sure everyone understands how important it is to go to your outside meeting place so if there is a fire you’ll know whether everyone is out. When the fire service arrives, tell them if everyone is at the meeting place and about any pets that may still be inside.
Prevention 1st has a long tradition of bringing creativity together with fire safety education. In the fall of 2021, the school districts in Monroe County received complimentary “Fire Drill Reminder” posters and an invitation for students in grades K-5 to enter the Prevention 1st 14th Annual Fire Safety Poster Contest. This year saw 109 local students, representing seven schools and three districts, heed the call by the January 22, 2022 deadline. Last year’s entries numbered 87.
“A pandemic of over two years has not dimmed enthusiasm for the poster contest,” said Charly Sommers, the program’s administrator. “The kids share their own unique messages, urging others to take steps to prevent fires as well as how to respond in the event of a fire emergency. Having the contest at Lifespan brings a lot of joy—people are starting to look forward to it now.”
This year’s winners were chosen by the staff of Lifespan, who recently took over Prevention 1st as an in-house program. “Lifespan has served the Rochester community for over 50 years, and we are very pleased to take on the work of Prevention 1st,” said Jody Rowe, Chief Operating Officer at Lifespan. “Providing safety and injury prevention education fits well with our mission to help older adults and caregivers take on both the challenges and opportunities of longer life. Interacting with school-age children through the poster contest is uplifting and offers an intergenerational opportunity.”
Qualifying posters were arranged across surfaces in a meeting room, grouped according to grade level. Each employee was given one vote, or “ticket” to be dropped onto their favorite poster in each grade level. Tickets were counted and removed frequently to prevent the influence of popularity. Those who couldn’t vote in person were invited to vote online.
The votes have now all been tallied and Lifespan is pleased to present the results of this year’s Prevention 1st Annual Poster Contest:
Kindergarten: Dylan T. (Listwood, West Irondequoit), submitted by Ms. Nassimos
Honorable mentions: Rhea M., Eloise T., Brooklyn C. (Seneca, West Irondequoit), also submitted by Ms. Nassimos
1st Grade: Remas A. (RISE Community, RCSD #106), submitted by Ms. Riemer
Honorable mentions: Thaddaeus D., Elliany B. (RISE Community, RCSD #106), also submitted by Ms. Riemer
2nd Grade: Ellie K. (Colebrook, West Irondequoit), submitted by Mrs. Ellis
Honorable mentions: Yohana E., Jayden C., Arianna B. (RISE Community, RCSD #106), submitted by Ms. Riemer
3rd Grade: Jimmy N. (Southlawn, West Irondequoit), submitted by Mrs. Stewart
Honorable mentions: Noah N. (Colebrook, West Irondequoit), submitted by Ms. Edell; Emma M. (Southlawn, West Irondequoit), submitted by Mrs. Stewart
4th Grade: MiKenzie B. (Chestnut Ridge, Churchville-Chili), submitted by Mrs. Chalifoux
Honorable mentions: Grace M. (Rogers, West Irondequoit), submitted by Ms. LaPierre; Amaris M. (Chestnut Ridge, Churchville-Chili), submitted by Mrs. Chalifoux
5th Grade: Angelise Torres (Abelard Reynolds, RCSD #42), submitted by Ms. Graham
Honorable mentions: Isla B., Jaylani M., Adaniel M.G. (Abelard Reynolds, RCSD #42), submitted by Ms. Graham
Qualifying posters met the size guidelines (11” x 17”) and did not contain any personal information on the front of the poster. First prize winners in each category will receive a $50 gift card, and their schools will each receive a check for $200 from Prevention 1st at Lifespan. First prize winners and Honorable Mentions also receive merit ribbons, and all entrants receive a certificate of appreciation for their work.
The coveted Grand Prize, a ride to school on a fire truck, was determined by raffle, open to all students who entered the contest. This year’s Grand Prize winner is: Eric B., a fifth grade student from Abelard Reynolds School #42 (RCSD). Prevention 1st will coordinate the ride to school for Eric when the weather is more agreeable.
Contest posters will be on display at various locations around town beginning April 2022, including the Monroe County Government Office building, Rochester City Hall, and the Frederick Douglass Airport. “We’re also considering putting up some of these posters at our Lifespan service centers,” Sommers said, “as a way of one generation looking after and connecting with another.”
Lifespan conducts this and other programs with the help of volunteers. To find out more about Volunteering with Prevention 1st at Lifespan, please contact us at: https://prevention1st.org/home/contact/.