Children in every household need to be educated about fire prevention and safety.
Fires can occur at all times of the day and do not discriminate between socioeconomic class and age.
The best way to prevent fires in your home is to teach your children about how fires happen and why they are so dangerous.
Children respond better when you tell them why as opposed to giving lectures.
Sit down with your kids and have a conversation about fire prevention and safety that requires their participation.
These meetings should outline some common and uncommon ways that fires can occur. Leaving flammables such as newspaper and plastic on top of a gas stove or playing with lighters are some common ways that fires can occur, while exposed wires and using small extension cords are some uncommon causes of fires.
Give your children a fun packet which outlines the causes of fires, what to do, and what not to do to prevent a fire.
The following are some important fire prevention and safety tips that parents should teach their children.
- Fire Prevention and Safety: Escape Plan
Most commercial businesses are required to inform employees about an escape plan in case of a fire.
As a cautious parent, you should always prepare your children in case of a fire. An escape plan that is uniformly followed by the entire family should be organized and practiced as a drill until it becomes a well known routine.
Have back up plans to follow when fires occur in unexpected areas of the house.
For example, if a fire happens outside the bedroom and there is no way to get through the house, does the room have an exit window?
If the fire is blocking the intended exit path to the front door, is there a back door that is easily accessible? Come up with back up plans that use common sense and quiz your children frequently so that they are prepared.
Having an escape plan is worthless if the home is full of fire hazards. Fire hazards are objects that block an exit route if a fire should happen.
Papers or toys on the stairwell can cause a panicked person to slip and fall. A bookcase that takes up almost half of the hallway could be an obstacle to a crowded family trying to escape.
- Fire Prevention and Safety: Appliances
There are several fire prevention appliances such as smoke detectors and fire extinguishers that are ideal for emergencies.
Smoke detectors placed in the kitchen can alert a family in the middle of the night. A fire extinguisher should be mounted in the hallway and easily accessible.
Make sure to teach your children the importance of having these instruments and how to use each.
When there is no escape route or fire extinguisher available, children should be informed about a last resort. Talk to them about 911 and how to report a fire.
A regular touch tone phone should be made available for children who do not yet have a cell phone. This phone should be placed on the wall in the kitchen, living room, or bedroom and be used for 911 calls only.
- Fire Prevention and Safety: Stop, Drop and Roll
As parents, you don’t want to ever think about the possibility of your children getting burned. However, the reality of this scenario needs to be confronted.
Teach your children about the stop, drop, and roll technique when they come into contact with fire. Children who use this maneuver learn how to stay calm and smother the fire by rolling on the ground.
Also, the plan for treating minor burns that may occur when touching a scorching skillet or boiling water needs to be addressed.
A minor burn on a finger or hand should never be placed under cold water or ice. Instead, use ointment to soothe the burn.
Fire prevention and safety should always be considered a top priority in every household.
These fire prevention and safety tips are designed to help you talk to your child in a non-threatening manner about the potential dangers of fire.
Choosing to set aside a few minutes each day is a decision that could mean the difference between life and death of your loved ones.
Kelly Marshall is a writer/blogger for Fire Protection Online.