Home Fire Safety Education for Parents of Newborns

Posted: June 22, 2017

How much do parents of newborns know about home fire safety and what knowledge might they retain after watching a brief safety video?

new parents holding their baby

A research team recently set out to examine changes in home fire safety knowledge and practices over time for parents of newborn children and expecting parents. Home fire safety knowledge of 103 parents was assessed both prior to, and then immediately after, watching the 5-minute video “Home Safe Home” by the Burn Safety Network.

Participating parents were then reassessed at a two-week follow-up home visit to see how much they retained using the U.S. Fire Administration’s Home Safety Checklist PDF 253 KB.

Research takeaways

  • Use of a video proved a highly effective way to teach fire safety to parents of newborns as it significantly increased their home fire safety knowledge.
  • The average Home Safety Checklist score was 71 percent. (Scores below 50 percent are considered unsafe). Areas of most concern included home escape planning, and owning and properly placing a carbon monoxide alarm.
  • It’s very difficult to get parents of newborns to agree to home visits but it is important to win participation since it represents the most effective way to assess safety knowledge.
  • Child doctor visits are an ideal opportunity for home fire safety education. The video used in the study could be shown in a doctor’s office waiting room or during hospital discharge planning.

Lehna, C., Fahey, E., Janes, E. G., Rengers, S., Williams, J., Scrivener, D., & Myers, J. (2015). Home fire safety education for parents of newborns. Burns, 41(6), 1199-1204. doi:10.1016/j.burns.2015.02.009

Video Home Safe Home

Home Safe Home is a program sponsored by the Burn Prevention Network to educate parents of young children about ways to protect them from burns and scalds.

Learn more about this research

This research article is available through our library by contacting netclrc@fema.dhs.gov. Interested readers may be able to access the article through their local library or through the publisher’s website.

See also: U.S. Fire Administration outreach materials for children

This summary is for informational purposes only. More +
As such, the content does not reflect any official positions, policies, or guidelines on behalf of the sender, the U.S. Fire Administration, FEMA, DHS, nor any other federal agencies, departments or contracting entities. Similarly, this summary does not represent in any manner an official endorsement or relationship to any private or public companies, organizations/associations, or any authors or individuals cited or websites associated within the article.

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