Teaching Kids About Fire Safety
By Doug Hetsch
July 10, 2013
Nothing is more important than your children. Unfortunately, keeping them safe can be quite a challenge when it comes to fire safety. The truth is, children are at risk because, in every way,they are not little adults, but love to act like little adults. They do things that adults just do not do because they fail to recognize the dangers.
Younger children may just be curious about fire and older children may assume they can handle it.They may not think twice about walking away from burning candles…or the ramen on the stove…or the fire in the fireplace. The truth is, it isn’t the job of children to be vigilant about fire safety – that responsibility is yours. What you can do is well prepare them for all potential situations they may encounter. A working fire alarm system and regular training makes this job easier.
Did you know that the risk of dying from a fire isdoubleswithout a working fire alarm? Although cooking is the primary cause of most domestic fires, the vast majority of deaths occur at night, when families are sleeping. Contrary to what you might assume, flames aren’t typically what you see when a fire strikes, dark smoke can make it very difficult to see. It is the heat and smoke that is fatal more often than the flame.
Teach kids the dangers of fire – how quickly it can get out of control. Do they know what to do if the fire is already out of control? Remind them of stop, drop and roll. Explain the legitimate uses of fire and the role of firefighters. Make sure there is a working fire alarm on every level of your home. Devise and instruct your family on what to do in case the fire alarm sounds or fire is spotted. Create a Family Escape Plan. You can even practice escaping your home as you would if the hallways were full of dark smoke.Test your alarm and your kids each month.
You should assume that your kids are inquisitive about fire. Most of us enjoy watching a fire crackle in the fireplace and become rapt watching its beauty. Anyone can become panicked though when fire is on the move, which is why regular reminders are so crucial. What else can you do? Maintain a working fire extinguisher. Insist that all drills are taken seriously. Check the batteries in your alarms at least once a year. Involve your kids – they will enjoy feeling invested in maintaining the safety of your home. Education about fire safety and making children comfortable with your family’s plan can save lives.