Fire Safety for Kids
Setting up fire alarm systems and fire monitoring are fundamental elements in your home’s fire safety plan. However, that is only the beginning. Educating your children on fire prevention, fire safety, and how to manage an emergency are vital in keeping your family safe.
According to the American Red Cross, not only are children under five twice as likely to die in a home fire, but an estimated $280 million in property is destroyed per year in the United States due to children playing with fire. Yes, those statistics are devastating, but they are also a reminder of the importance of teaching children about fire safety.
Fire Alarms in Your Home
Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of a home, inside bedrooms, and outside of sleeping areas. These alarms should be tested on a monthly basis to ensure they are functioning, and their batteries do not need replacing.
Your kids should recognize and understand the sounds and visual signals from smoke alarms. If you move into a new home or building, review this lesson to be site-specific since alarms can sound differently.
Create a fire escape plan with your family that you practice at least twice a year. An escape plan should include the best path toward the exits of your home, the importance of finding two exit points from each room, and identify an outside meeting spot.
For children who are too young to get up and out by themselves, discuss a plan with your family on who will be responsible for getting each child to safety.
An additional skill that children should learn concerning fire safety is how to properly call 911. Part of a 911 lesson includes teaching kids when it is inappropriate to call emergency services, and what the consequences of accidentally phoning 911 can be.
Create opportunities to review and to practice fire safety procedures at home. Being doing fire drills and start conversations about what to do in the event of a fire. Encourage your kids to think about what would happen from different rooms, such as how they would escape from their bedroom versus the kitchen. Your family should be able to evacuate the home in under three minutes.
Have a written and illustrated fire drill procedure chart that your kids can reference. By keeping it in a public space (like the fridge), your kids will regularly view the information and retain it for longer.
Teach your family to test doors and not to grab objects to avoid burns. They can also utilize a towel or blanket to protect their faces from smoke.
Verywell Family suggests that if exits of a room are blocked, kids should stay low and lie near the bed because that is where firefighters will look first. Small children will often hide when they are frightened, the phrase “Don’t hide, go outside” is an easy way to remind children to get away from fire if there is an emergency. On a similar note, informing kids that their priority is staying safe and leaving the house is essential, not running back into the flames.
Stop, Drop, and Roll remains an effective way for people to handle fire that catches on clothing. This can choke out the flames and stop the fire from spreading.
Finally, remind your family that where there is smoke, there is generally fire as well. For kids, emphasizing the importance of informing an adult and getting out of the house are their top two priorities.
For windows on a second floor, installing fire escape ladders and teaching your kids how to properly use it will make sure that your family can get out safely. Knowing how to use important safety tools such as fire blankets and extinguishers can also come in handy.
Fire Safe Kid has a long list of resources and activities that kids can download and enjoy. They have educational and fun worksheets.
In some areas, firefighters will take families on tours of a firehouse and teach kids about what firefighters do every day. Contact your local fire station or talk to your child’s school to find out if that is an option near you.
To learn more about fire safety in your home and how you can install a home monitoring system that will keep your family safe, contact the experts at FSS Technologies.