September 26, 2003 – As kids head back to school, new classmates will be met and the sleepover invitations are being extended. NFPA (National Fire Protection Association) suggests parents and caregivers learn about fire safety plans in the homes that their children want to do sleepovers in, especially when they have not visited the home where the sleepover will take place.
"Before a sleepover, take the time to ask whether the family has a fire escape plan and working smoke alarms," says Judy Comoletti, assistant vice president for public education for NFPA. Comoletti is reinforcing this important safety advice in light of this year's Fire Prevention Week campaign, "When Fire Strikes: Get Out! Stay Out!"
For more than 80 years, NFPA has been the official sponsor of Fire Prevention Week, held October 5-11 this year.
Fire Prevention Week 2003 focuses on one of the most critical components of home fire escape planning because a home fire can grow and spread so rapidly, it is crucial to move quickly in a fire emergency. Knowing how and where to go are essential to survival, and every household needs working smoke alarms and a well-rehearsed escape plan to give them extra time to get out safely.
According to NFPA, eight out of 10 fire deaths take place in the home, with the majority of home fire deaths occurring late at night. Comoletti advises asking a few simple questions like whether the home is equipped with working alarms, are there two ways out of the sleeping area, and is the sleepover to be supervised by an adult.
NFPA is offering a free, downloadable Sleepover Safety Checklist to help parents and caregivers consider the hazards, and make decisions about slumber parties and sleepovers.
Joining NFPA as major funding partners of the national public safety effort are the Home Safety Council, a nonprofit organization dedicated to preventing home injuries, and Pella Corporation, one of the world's leading manufacturers of premium-quality windows and doors.
NFPA has been a worldwide leader in providing fire, electrical, building, and life safety to the public since 1896. The mission of the international nonprofit organization is to reduce the worldwide burden of fire and other hazards on the quality of life by providing and advocating scientifically-based consensus codes and standards, research, training and education. NFPA headquarters is located in Quincy, MA, USA.