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Story Ideas

Getting the word out about safety is one of the best ways to further reduce the number of mattress fires and mattress-related fire deaths that occur each year. With this in mind, we actively encourage news media to educate the public about fire safety. To help with the brainstorming process, we've provided suggestions for adding a local news angle to the bedroom safety campaign.

Bad Match: Kids, Beds, and Fires
Kids playing with matches is not a new story. But unfortunately, the tragedies that result from young fire starters continue to occur. Here are some story ideas:

  • Obtain local fire-and-children statistics from your fire department.
  • Profile a youngster who acted heroically to stop friends or siblings from playing with fire.
  • Find a "success story" – a situation where children and their family survived a fire because they took the proper precautions, such as developing an escape plan, installing smoke detectors, and following fire safety tips.

Fire and Sleep Safety Tips for Older Americans
Not surprisingly, the challenge of escaping quickly during a fire can be even more difficult for seniors. Here are some story ideas to communicate the importance of safety measures for this at-risk population:

  • Interview your local fire chief or fire department officials to identify common home fire hazards and how they can be prevented.
  • Visit a senior community center in your area.
  • When interviewing senior citizens in their homes, ask the following questions:
    • Are you aware that you are at greater risk of death or injury in a fire?
    • Have you had your home inspected for fire hazards?
    • Do you use portable heaters properly?
    • Do you own or store old mattresses?
    • Do you have working smoke detectors?
    • How old is the mattress you sleep on?

For a variety of fact sheets and other publications on fire safety, check out the Fire Safety Education Resource Directory on the U.S. Fire Administration's Web site.

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