Fire safety basics are often left up to the school system to teach. And while the school system may do a fine job at teaching the basics of fire safety they cannot teach each and every child about the specific fire dangers that they may come across in their own homes or about escape plans to get out of their home if there is a fire. Lessons like these must be taught in the home.
As a parent of course you are willing to help your kids and teens understand the basics of fire safety. You may simply be at a loss for what needs to be taught. Below are some of the most basic things about fire safety that your kids need to know about. Take their age and education levels into account as you teach these principles to not only ensure comprehension but also to help your kids stay interested in the topic.
How to help kids and teens understand the basics of fire safety
1.Bring it home
Some fire hazards that a child may find at school may not exist at home and vice versa. Take a fire tour of your home and ask your kids to point out anything that they may see as a fire safety risk or potential fire safety risk. Point out that certain areas of your home are much more prone to be at a fire risk than other parts. Emphasize the importance of having preventing electrical fires by being safe with cords and outlets. Never let a child use the oven, toaster, stove top, etc. without being supervised by an adult. Set home rules about using lighters and matches as well as not permitting candles or other fire hazards in certain areas of the house.
You obviously never want to create a dangerous scenario in your home even if it is for educational purposes but you can pretend or role play a situation where a fire safety rule is being broken and have your children tell you what was being done wrong. Then it is the children’s turn to act out a scenario.
3.Create a fire escape plan
Every household needs to have a detailed plan that outlines exactly what each member of the family is responsible for doing in the event of a fire. Every bedroom needs to have 2 exits. Make sure that all windows are oiled so that they can be opened by the children who will need to escape from them. If you have more than one child in the same bedroom assign responsibility to the older sibling to make sure that the younger sibling gets out first. Teach your children about feeling the doors to see which ones are hot and about crawling on the floor to avoid being overcome with smoke and fumes. Have a safe gathering place away from the home that everyone should meet at. Time how long it takes for the whole family to get out of the house during one of these drills and see if any changes can be made to the plan to make the escape time faster.
Other tips and warnings
Children will vary in their ability to understand and retain certain pieces of information depending on their age. So it is only natural that you repeat these lessons of fire safety every so often. Chances are that your kids will take away something new from these refresher courses than they had learned previously. Also, it takes all of us some time to commit things to memory. Having reminders about fire safety can help our education about them become more readily accessible by our memory capabilities.