Posted: September 17, 2019
Every 24 seconds, teams of first responders dash to the scene of a structure fire in the US. Of those fires, 72 percent occur in a family home and cause an estimated $23 billion in property damage annually. While property can be replaced, your family cannot.
Do your children know what to do if a fire breaks out in your home? This is fire safety for kids!
In this article you’ll learn:
More than half of fire-related injuries happen to children under the age of four, so communicating fire safety to children of any age is incredibly important.
While you don’t want to scare your child, talking one-on-one several times a year about what to do in emergencies will help prepare them for the unexpected.“It’s never too early to start teaching your kids about fire safety,” said Indianapolis Police Chief Ernest Malone. “As young as age four they begin to understand the importance of what’s hot, what’s not and at age 6, stop, drop and roll, knowing two ways out and the rule to never hide under a bed or closet.
“I encourage all parents to talk about fire safety with their children and keep talking. Family evacuation planning is not a one-time thing that you practice once a year. Take time to review your plan as each season approaches. Talk about the potential hazards that may accompany a change of season. Firefighters practice their skills, and so should you.”
It's never too early to start teaching your kids about fire safety.
Did you know that you may have as little as two minutes to escape your home if a fire breaks out? Early warning signals from a smoke alarm and a practiced fire escape plan can save lives!
Now that you know the fire safety basics, let’s build your plan.
Mapping out your fire escape plan with your kids is a great way to keep them engaged and interested in learning about fire safety.
Second Story Safety – have an escape ladder placed near your second-floor windows. Children should practice using them so that there's no hesitation if a fire does break out.
Now that you have your escape plan mapped out and practiced, it’s important to know how to move safely through your home and spot potential signs of danger.
In case of an actual fire, make sure your kids know how to identify important warning signs and move safely towards the exits.
Fall and Crawl, Smoke and heat rise, so by staying on your hands and knees and crawling through your home, you can get more air to the lungs and buy yourself and your family more time for escape.
In the event of lost power or low visibility, your children should practice exiting the home in similar conditions. Make it a game by blindfolding your child and task them with feeling their way to a designated area. Add obstacles to make it fun and engaging while also teaching your child important safety skills.
Feel for danger, test doorknobs before opening doors. If the knob is hot, move on to a different exit. This is a sign that that room is not safe and to check for other options.
Block the smoke, if you find yourself trapped in a room with no exit, put a towel or piece of clothing at the cracks of the door to ensure the smoke doesn’t flow into the room and wait for help.
CALL 911, once you’ve made your way to the safe place, call 911 as soon as possible to alert your local first responders.
If your child’s clothes catch on fire, it can spread incredibly quickly. Synthetic fabrics may even melt and stick to the skin. The best way to reduce injury from the flames is to extinguish immediately.
To put out a fire that has caught on a piece of clothing, make sure your kids know how to stop, drop and roll.
Make learning about fire safety fun by practicing some common fire scenarios at home!
If you’ve been following us from the beginning of the article, you have a pretty good idea of how to construct your families fire safety plan, but the most important part of any plan is practice.
Be sure to review:
Ensure your kids know what to do in case of an emergency by going over your safety plan each season. Keep them engaged by mixing serious information with games that help them know their fire safety plan like they know their ABCs.
Now that you’re a fire safety pro, here are a few ways to help fireproof your home.
The best way to keep your family safe from a potential fire is doing what you can to make sure one does not break out in the first place. Here are some things for you and your family to be on the watch for you in your home.
Want some coloring page to help explain fire safety to your preschoolers? Click the images below to download these interactive fire safety activities.