Why a guide about fire safety for kids? Fire safety is never more important than when children are involved. The problem is that, in a controlled form, fire is very much part of our normal life. Children may see dad having a barbecue or mom lighting candles on a birthday cake. They can reach incorrect conclusions about fire safety. Combined with this is a responsibility to protect little ones in the event of an unplanned fire or an emergency.
With an estimated 400 fires per week caused by children, there is never a better time to ensure you don’t become part of this statistic. Today, we will look at several things you can do to encourage fire safety for kids.
Inquisitive young minds (and hands) can often lead to accidents occurring. It is thought that around 43% of home fires started in 2014 were the result of children under the age of 6.!
While education is the best step, we all know that young children aren’t the best listeners. To guard against this, you can take measures to ensure that the opportunity to start a fire never presents itself…
This includes things like:
- Adding fireguards to any open-source of heat.
- Keeping sources of ignition such as candles and heaters out of reach.
- Never leaving matches or lighters in a place that can be easily accessed by a child.
- Fitting plug guards to ensure that nothing finds its way inside.
- Storing all flammable liquids safely away.
- Ensuring electrical heaters are not left unattended.
A great deal of ensuring that children are responsible is to educate them effectively as to the dangers.
Fire Safety for Kids Begins with Education
It is 100% up to us as adults to teach children the correct way to behave around fire. The aim should be to educate and not terrify.
Children respond better to positive encouragement than fear. A great way to encourage this is to reward good behaviors.
Another way to avoid distress is to make fire education fun. There are plenty of online resources where children can be educated in a fun way.
- Set Boundaries
We’ll put it out there right now. As a general theme, the underlying message for children should be that fire is not a toy and is to be avoided. In most ‘normal’ situations, fire is seen as a ‘fun thing’. Fires are featured at barbecues, campouts, birthdays, and even national celebrations.
It’s a fine line to tread to teach children when a fire is ‘ok’ and when it isn’t.
But here’s the solution…
Make it simple.
There should never be a time when it’s ‘ok’ for children to play with fire. This includes helping mom to light the barbecue, help dad burn things in the yard, touching the cooker, or playing with candles.
If you work in a school, you have the opportunity to shape young minds. Children’s upbringing and what is considered ‘acceptable’ are variable. The classroom offers consistency. This can be used as an advantage in teaching fire safety.
A half-day spent going through why fire is dangerous and things to avoid can be a really constructive use of time. If you are struggling for ideas, calling a professional fire protection company for ideas could be a solution.
While schools are generally more regulated than homes, fire risks can still exist. Ensure that children are aware of the dangers and educate them on what they can do if they discover a fire or a fire risk.
- Teach Your Child How to Alert an Adult
Fire often spreads when a child is responsible for its cause. Understandably, there is a reluctance to ‘tell a grown-up’ as they worry that they will be in trouble.
The key here is reassurance.
Make it clear that regardless of circumstance, your child won’t be punished for telling you about potential fire and that they must inform you immediately, regardless of the size.
Regardless of the reason, if there is a fire in your home, you want to ensure that everyone can get to safety.
The key to this is having an effective plan and that does also include your children. Here are some important things to consider:
- Have an Escape Plan
As you sit and read, if a fire broke out in your home right now, would you know what you were going to do to get everyone out safely?
If the answer is ‘no’, it might be time to spend a few minutes thinking of an escape plan.
The best plans are the simplest. It could look something like this:
- Locate the fire extinguisher. Gather everyone in the hall.
- Leave together via the front door.
- If the front door is blocked, leave via the rear door.
- If the rear door isn’t accessible, leave via the garage or side window.
- Proceed to the front lawn.
- Call the emergency services.
This is obviously particular to your home, and our example is to give you a general idea. Still, by keeping it simple, you also make it really easy to remember.
Once you have formulated a plan you must share it.
This also includes making kids active participants. You could practice with your children and treat it as a fun game. As you’ll already know, if something is fun, it is more likely to be remembered.
- Ensure Your Fire Detection Systems are Working
You might very well feel you can rely on your kids to inform you that there is a fire and for them to do the right thing. One sure way to avoid being surprised or a fire getting out of control is to fit a reliable warning system and checking it regularly.
Smoke and fire alarms do need to be checked from time to time. When was the last time you gave yours a quick once over?
Suppose you do discover it isn’t working. In that case, it may be time to recruit some professional help to ensure that your home, and more importantly, your family are kept safe.
Fraker Fire Protection Inc. can offer professional guidance and advice on several fire protection systems, including alarms, escapes, and suppression for both homes and schools. Contact us today!ffire