Black Firefighters Launch New Program to Save Young Lives

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According to the United States Fire Administration (USFA), African-American children are at increased risk of death during home fires. A 2008 report found 38 percent of all children killed in home fires in the United States were Black. In addition, a study found African Americans as a racial group and African-American children face higher rates of fire deaths than other populations.

To combat the growing problem, the International Association of Black Professional Firefighters (IABPFF) is preparing to launch “No Child Left Alone,” a fire safety and awareness campaign during Fire Prevention Week, Oct. 3-9.

According to a press release issued by the group, the campaign will focus on informing caregivers about the dangers of leaving children at home alone and provide fire-safety information. The USFA has awarded the IABPFF a grant to implement the “No Child Left Alone” campaign in cities across the nation with high numbers of African Americans and Spanish-speaking communities.

“Many families are being torn apart, because one simple rule is not followed:  Never, ever leave children alone at home,” said IABPFF President Joseph Muhammad in a statement. “Leaving young children home alone, even for a few minutes, can have devastating consequences. Any number of things can happen when a child is alone, including their playing with matches, accidentally bumping candles into curtains or even a cooking fire.”