All About Fire Alarms and Kids' Pajamas
Sounding the Alarms
Protect your family from home fires and carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning with these guidelines.
- Purchase only smoke and CO alarms that are safety-tested to meet federal standards, like UL (Underwriters Laboratories).
- Install smoke alarms on each floor, inside each bedroom, and outside each sleeping area in your home.
- Place a CO alarm on each floor and outside each sleeping area. Make sure the device isn't covered by furniture or draperies.
- Consider a residential sprinkler system, particularly if you're remodeling, when the cost can be lower. When combined with a working smoke detector, sprinklers reduce the likelihood of death in a fire by more than 80 percent, says the U.S. Fire Administration.
The Lowdown on Kids' Pajamas
To protect children from burns, the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) requires pajamas size 9 months through size 14 to meet federal flammability standards. The fabric and garments must pass certain tests or be tight-fitting; if they're tight-fitting, they haven't been treated with flame retardants. (Many parents prefer to avoid the chemicals because research has linked exposure to some with health hazards. In the 1970s, many kinds of retardants were banned from being used in kids' pajamas; the CPSC has said the chemicals used today are safe.) You'll know your child's sleepwear is tight-fitting enough if the label reads: "For child's safety, garment should fit snugly. This garment is not flame resistant. Loose-fitting garment is more likely to catch fire." Loose-fitting clothing made of cotton or cotton blends should never be worn as sleepwear because it can catch fire easily.
Originally published in the October 2012 issue of Parents magazine.