Fire officials discuss space heater, fire safety tips for children

JACKSON, Tenn. — Dropping temperatures at night means you’re likely doing everything you can to stay warm, but that increases the risk for your child to get burned.

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These tips aren’t really new, but they are helpful reminders to keep your children safe and prevent a house fire.

“We have to remember that we are our own safety officers at home. We don’t have firefighters standing there all the time, so we have to think just like firefighters think,” said Errick Merriweather, public education coordinator for the Jackson Fire Department.

The Jackson Fire Department and Madison County Fire Department have teamed up as a part of SafeKidsWorldwide. Their tips mainly focus on keeping kids away from hot surfaces, like space heaters.

“When using them, you want to have a three-foot perimeter around the space heater to prevent anything from catching on fire. Kids may lay their jackets, their blankets, something around or even on it if they’re sitting too close,” said Anna Kate Craig, community risk education coordinator for the Madison County Fire Department.

If you have a fireplace, keep a screen or protector in front of them to prevent anything hot from escaping or accidentally touching.

“Say a child is walking around, they’re a little unstable. They’re wanting to grab things. You want to keep them away from these fireplaces to prevent a burn,” Craig said.

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And remember to cover your outlets.

“We can put protectors on them so kids can’t stick keys and knives and other metal objects inside the outlets that cause burns and shocks,” Merriweather said.

While you’re in the kitchen, make sure nothing is distracting you or can get in your way.

“Something you can do to keep your kids safe is, while you’re cooking, not hold your kid or carry them around. It’s better to keep them in a high chair, away from the oven and away from things that can splash and cause burns,” Merriweather said.

And always keep household chemicals out of reach because those can cause burns as well.

“You want to keep those locked up and out of sight and out of mind,” Merriweather said.

SafeKids also has more information on their website ranging from safety tips to recalls. For more information, click here.

Categories: Local News, News
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