Children Under Age 5 to Account for 52% of Children Fire Deaths

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A FEMA study released today says children under the age of five account for more than half of fatal fires involving children.

Julie Konikoff is like many Tallahassee residents who are training their young children early on the importance of fire safety in the home.

A Fema study released Monday shows children younger than 5 made up 52% of fire deaths among those 16 and younger in 2007. These little ones typically have a harder time getting to safety without help.

Konikoff says, "We started having fire drills and we would turn on the alarm and run outside and we would pretend to wait for a fire truck."

She goes on to say, "We practice near the stove and we don't get near it. We have a gas frame so we know that there flames and we don't get any cloth or books even close to it."

Local parent Tara Posey says, "We let our daughter sleep with us at night so we don't have to worry about if she's down the hall and there is a fire."

Tallahassee fire officials say it's important especially for parents with young children to make sure they have a fire plan in their homes, because a fire can happen at anytime.

Travis Oaks from the Tallahassee Fire Department says, "Residents should check their smoke detector, have a fire extinguisher, and keeping matches away and things that light fires away from young children."

The State Fire Marshal's Office says in 2007, the state of Florida reported 18 fatalities involving children under 16 and half of them were under the age of 5.

Local parent Stephanie Cornais says, "Hearing that statistic makes me want to put a plan together to make sure we have something ready to go if something were to happen."

The National Fire Protection Association says each year more than 3500 Americans die in fires and roughly 18,300 are injured.

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