There are several factors that need to be addressed to keep your family and children safe in case a fire breaks out in your home. The obvious precautionary measures are having properly-working smoke detectors in the home and having fire extinguishers available for all to access – the entire family should be taught how to use them as well, including children 5 years and older. Children need to be educated on all fire hazards that can occur in the home to help prevent fires from beginning. Fire Hazards in the Home
1) Matches and Lighters – Children should be taught that playing with matches can cause a flame to spark, hence causing a fire very quickly. Not only older children can strike a match – It’s been proven that children as little as 2 years old can strike a match and start a fire. Keep all match sets and lighters out of children’s reach, preferably locked up where they can’t access them.
2) The Kitchen – Most fires start in the kitchen, believe it or not. Teach your children the stove is made to be hot and that they should NEVER touch it or they can get a burn. Even worse, if they place something on the hot stove, it can start a fire. Children should be taught to never touch it because even if there’s nothing cooking on the stove, it could be in “cool down” mode from having been used recently.
3) Candles – Never leave your children alone in a room where candles are burning and don’t let them light the candle for you. Blow out candles if you or another supervisor is leaving the room and children unattended.
4) Lamps – Laying a cover, towel, piece of paper, etc. over a lamp shade can start a fire. Make children understand this and don’t do it.
5) Frayed Electrical Cords – Frayed cords can spark a flame causing a fire so show children how to recognize them and to get an adult to correct the problem before a fire occurs.
6) Anything Hot – This includes curling irons and other heated hair styling tools, clothes irons, etc.
7) Aerosol Cans – They are highly flammable and should never be placed near stoves or heat as they can burst and cause serious damage.
Teach Your Children…
9-1-1. This number will save lives and will save more. Don’t underestimate the knowledge your children can retain at a young age. The younger they are when they memorize this number and know how to dial the phone in case of emergency, the better off the entire family will be.
Stop, Drop, and Roll
If your child’s clothes start on fire, the worst thing they can do is run when panicking. Teach them the stop, drop, and roll method at an early age and have them practice it for you several times. Remind them to cover their face and mouth during practice.
The more you educate your children on fire hazards and fire safety, the more you are empowering them on what to do in case of an emergency. Tell them that you trust them to make smart decisions when it comes to fire safety and to come to you with any safety concerns. Knowledge is power!