Fire is a force of nature that is just as fascinating as it is deadly. Adults and kids alike can be transfixed by the beauty of a fireplace or fire pit, but kids might miss out on how important it is for fire to be contained and treated with respect as they more than likely have only seen the positive things that fire brings. They see that it offers heat, light, and even a flame to be blown out on top of a birthday cake. Many kids have never seen the damaging effects of a fire in a kitchen or wildfire, so don’t understand how deadly it can become. Follow these fire prevention tips to ensure that your child is aware of the dangers of fire.
A Fire Prevention Tip for All Homes
- Kids or no kids, a working smoke alarm is essential for a home. It reduces the chances of a person dying in a fire by half.
- They are essential, and it is recommended that a smoke alarm be installed on every level of your home and in every sleeping area.
- New York legislations passed a new law that requires smoke alarms having non removable batteries.
- Upkeep is also essential as a non-working fire alarm is just as bad if not worse than not having a smoking alarm. You may think that you are protected only to find out that your fire alarm was not working correctly.
Fire Prevention for Little Kids
Small children can often be overlooked when it comes to fire prevention, but this is the age where fire prevention education should begin in the home. You may think that young children are not a danger when it comes to starting fires, but you might be surprised by this statistic. According to the Playing with Fire report created by the National Fire Protection Association in 2014, 43% of fires caused by play in the study were created by children under the age of 6.
Keep these tips in mind when it comes to your small children:
- Sit down with your kids to teach them about the dangers of fire. Cover matches, lighters and fireworks in you talk. This can be helpful to do around birthdays or the 4th of July when children see the positive effects that fire can have on life.
- Create a FamilyEvacuationPlan and teach it to your children.
- This will include teaching them the sound that your smoke alarm makes.
- Teach them about staying low under the smoke and where they should meet if the fire alarm goes off.
- Teach your children that they need to feel the door and surrounding areas to see if they are hot. They should be taught not to open a door if the door or knob feels warm to the touch. Follow this up by teaching them to stuff the cracks in the door and cover vents with their blankets to keep smoke out of their room. Letting them know that looking out the window to signal for help when the smoke is not overpowering can help them to be found.
- Make sure that they know all the different exits from your home and how they should get to each if there is a fire.
- Having fire drills can be a life saver where you practice with your children and then see how they do on their own. This will help them to put all the steps together from knowing what a fire alarm sounds like to where they should meet safely after following the fire escape plan.
- Do not leave candles burning are an unsupervised child. If you do burn candles in your home, keep them away from flammable objects and blow them out when you are not in the room. You should also never leave candles burning when you sleep either.
- Teach your children how to call 9-1-1 and the importance of only using this number in case of an emergency. It is amazing how many young children are applauded by the local news for calling 9-1-1 in an emergency.
- Keep matches, lighters, and other fire starters out of the reach of your children. Also, be sure to keep highly flammable substances out of the reach of children, and in the case of gasoline and other similar substances, use child safety containers to prevent them from getting into it.
Fire Prevention for Big Kids
Big kids can be just as curious about fire as their smaller counterparts and should be taught to respect the power of fire. It is important to cover the tips that were presented for younger children in this age group along with some additional tips. As children get older, they are allowed to do more than their younger counterparts, such as starting to help in the kitchen, so fire prevention education is still great to have at this age.
Add these tips to your arsenal for fire safety:
- You can certainly start teaching your children about cooking safety. It is important to use common sense when it comes to these lessons. Adult supervision is a must for any activity that includes the stove or oven along with other kitchen appliances.
- Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen, and teach your children how to use it (or even yourself in the case that you are unsure of how to use it).
Fire Prevention for Pre-Teens
Pre-teens may be seen by some as a group that should know better when it comes to fire, but that is not always the case. The Playing with Fire report created by the National Fire Protection Association in 2014 cites, “…two of five (38%) of all outside or unclassified fires started by a child between the ages of 10 and 12”. The good news is that pre-teens are mentally aware enough to normally be able to respond properly to a fire if one occurs. This means that fire prevention can be the key to stopping your pre-teen from literally playing with fire. The above tips from preceding sections should not be skipped over.
Check these additional tips:
- Pre-teens are at the age where they usually want to decorate their own rooms. This may include wanting to have candles or other scent burners. This is a parental choice as to whether they can have something like this, but covering fire safety is a must if these types of objects are in the home.
- Pre-teens may also be at an age where they may have more electrical devices to plug in their room. It is essential to teach them to care properly for their electrical sockets and plugs. This includes not overloading the sockets with more devices it can handle. They need to let you know when there are any problems.