For Immediate Release: February 15, 2011

State Fire Marshal Goodwin Urges North Carolinians to Keep Kids Safe from Fire

New report shows children under five are at an increasing risk of fire injury or death

Raleigh -- Insurance Commissioner and State Fire Marshal Wayne Goodwin and the North Carolina Office of State Fire Marshal are joining a public push to keep children safe from fires.

A national report* released Feb. 14 shows that young children are especially vulnerable to, and at a growing risk of, death or injury in a fire. According to the most recent data available, more than half of all child fire deaths in 2007 occurred in children under the age of five, a slight increase over previous years.

"We need to take action to prevent fires in our homes and protect our families, especially the young children who rely on us in an emergency," said Commissioner Goodwin. "Fire safety and prevention are particularly important in the winter months, when we typically see a spike in residential fires as people heat their homes to stay warm."

Commissioner Goodwin encourages North Carolinians to visit a new online fire safety resource by clicking on this link. Created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Fire Administration and the National Commission on Children and Disasters, this Web site includes heating, cooking and other fire safety tips for the whole family, with a focus on protecting and educating children.

"Many fire deaths and injuries are preventable," Goodwin added. "Following simple safety practices and having a home fire escape plan can help you avoid a tragedy in your home."

For more information from the North Carolina Office of State Fire Marshal, click on this link.

*Report issued by FEMA's U.S. Fire Administration