8 Home Fire Safety Tips for Children
In the event that a fire starts in your home, do you and your children know what to do? We don’t always want to talk about scary things that could happen, but it can save your family’s lives.
Perhaps someone left a lighted scented candle too close to a flammable item or a fire started in the kitchen and got out of control. Adults and children need to be informed of the steps to get to safety. Here are some things you can and should do in case of a fire emergency in the home.
1. Know your Emergency Number - 995
Along with house fires, knowing the emergency number can help when other emergencies occur. Children need to memorize 995 and be taught when is an appropriate time to call. They need to understand the difference between little fires that are contained versus fires that are out of control and need emergency help.
2. Use your Home Fire Safety Kit
Hopefully you have a fire safety kit in your home that includes a fire blanket, home fire alarm device, and a fire extinguisher. These items can protect and prevent a fire from getting out of hand. Make certain that your child and everyone in the household know what and where these items are and how to use them in case of emergency. You cannot be over-informed when disaster strikes.
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3. Get Away from the Fire
For a child, a fire can be extremely dangerous and traumatic. In order to minimize any harm, it is important that children know to escape as quickly as they can. Seems like a pretty obvious reaction to go outside, however children tend to hide in closets or under beds when they get scared. Parents need to instruct their children to go outside when they hear the fire alarm, smell smoke or see a fire (even if they started it).
4. Stay Low
If a fire was ignited in the house, children need to know about the significance of staying low in a room with a fire. Smoke and poisonous air hurts people more than the actual flames do in most cases. Smoke travels upwards so if they can stay low by bending over or crawling, they have less chance of inhaling the poisonous air and getting out to safety. This can easily be made into a memorable safety skill by practicing with your children every month.
5. Go to a Room with Windows
In case the home is on fire and you cannot escape through the main door, try to go to a room with a window. You will be able to have some source of fresh air until emergency services arrive.
6. Stop, Drop and Roll
Easily a favorite strategy to practice is the stop - drop - roll routine in case their clothes ever catch on fire. Each child must stop and drop to the ground, lay flat with legs out straight.
Then children need to use their hands to cover their eyes and mouth and roll over, back and forth until the flames are out. Parents should ensure that children know to only do this if their clothing is on fire. You can first model to them the technique and then make it into a game and have them copy you. Once you have made them do it a couple of times, you can feel confident that they know what to do if it ever occurs.
7. Don't Leave Toys or Games Near to a Fire
Toys are often made from highly flammable materials and so educating your children about the danger is fire safety wise. Teach children not to play with their toys near a fire. Make sure they do not leave them nearby once they are done playing.
8. Practice Home Fire Drills
You can spend a little time at home practicing what to do in case of a fire. During home drills, have a designated pretend fire area and start somewhere different in the house. Walk through together, discover the pretend fire and talk about what should be done. If you want to imagine the fire is bigger, take the steps and crawl out as if you had to. See if they know where to go to get outside.
Don’t worry about your child memorizing all of the different routes (though that is a good goal) but instead practice that adaptable thinking and basically knowing how to get out of the house.
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