Teaching Kids Fire Safety
Would your children know what to do in the event of a fire in your Charlotte, NC, home? Making sure your children are prepared in the event of a fire emergency can help ensure their safety. So how should you teach your children about fire safety? Keep reading to find out.
Start by teaching your children about smoke detectors. Talk about why they are installed, how the smoke detectors work, and the sound they make. To stay safe, children should be able to associate the sound of the smoke detector with fire and know what to do when they hear that noise.
Tip: Change the batteries in your smoke detector often to prevent the noise from startling children.
Plan Escape Routes
When planning escape routes with children, creating two plans for each room is the best way to keep children calm and safe during a fire. For most rooms, this means using a door and a window in the escape route.
Once you have established a plan for getting out of each room, select a designated meeting space outside your home, like your mailbox, driveway, sidewalk, or even a neighbor’s yard. Make sure the whole family knows the selected meeting space for emergencies.
Tip: If your child’s instinct is to hide when they are frightened, teach them the phrase “Don’t hide, go outside.”
Practice Opening Windows
Many children are not taught how to open windows to ensure they don’t injure themselves, but in case of a fire knowing how to open windows can save lives. Ensure that windows are not stuck and can be easily opened and that screens and security bars can be removed quickly if necessary.
Practice Using Escape Ladders
If your home has a second floor, escape ladders can be an essential part of fire safety. Keep escape ladders near second-story windows and be sure to practice using them with your children. If your children are young, practice using a first-floor window so they know what to expect.
Check for Heat
Teach children to check how hot a door is before opening in case of a fire. If a door is hot, tell them how to find another way out, like a window. If they are unable to find an exit teach children to cover themselves with a towel and get low to the ground by their bed.
Make Fire Safety a Game
If your children aren’t interested in practicing fire safety, try using a game to teach them how to safely escape from your home. Blindfold your child and have them make their way through your home. Set it up as an obstacle course with a treat waiting at the end for even more fun.
Get Out & Stay Out
Make sure to teach children that once they have exited the house, they need to go to the designated meeting place, and stay there. Even if a family member or pet is missing, children should know they should never venture back inside.
Stop, Drop, & Roll
Your children have likely heard of stop, drop, & roll, but it’s important that they are prepared to practice it in the event they get too close to flames. Many fire-related injuries can be avoided or minimized if a child stops, drops, & rolls rather than running. Be sure to act out the proper form and have them practice with you so they can be prepared.
Creating an escape plan and teaching it to your children is essential to their safety, but so is updating the plan and practicing it. Schedule fire safety practice at least twice a year, or more often for younger children.
For more information on preparing your family for fire-related emergencies, the National Fire Protection Association is a good resource. Be sure you have the right fire extinguisher in your home, and that you know when how to properly use it.
If you and your family experienced a fire-related emergency, you might be unsure of what to do once the Charlotte Fire Department has put out the fire. SERVPRO of South Mecklenburg County is here to help. As your local fire restoration, we are here to “Like it never even happened.”
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