In school kids are taught what to do and where to go if there is a fire in the school building. Fire drills are held regularly and your child probably does well and follows instructions for safe evacuation during these drills. But does your child know exactly what to do if there is a fire in their own home? Chances are that unless you as the parents have made a conscious effort to teach your children about fire safety in the home and have formulated an escape plan, your child will not know what to do. Preparing for a house fire, however unpleasant, is vital in ensuring the safety of your children.
Keeping your kids safe by teaching them where to go and what to do in a fire should be one of the first lessons that you have as a family. You should remind your children of the family fire safety rules regularly and make sure to make new escape plans if you move to a new house. Below are some simple rules that you can teach your kids that will help to keep them safe in a fire by teaching them where to go and what to do:
1.When there is a fire you need to stay calm. If you panic you will not be able to think clearly to make wise decisions about what you will need to do next to get yourself out of harm’s way.
2.Yell out to your family to let them know that you are alright. Parents will need to know that all of their children are conscious and aware of what needs to happen. If there is a child that does not respond when called parents know to come to that person’s aid.
3.Do not hide! Teach your children that although being in a fire can be very scary, they will only put themselves in more danger if they hide under a bed, in a closet, etc. You must get out now!
4.Crawl to your door and feel the door before you open it. If the door is hot, you know that the fire is on the other side of the door and you will need to use the window to get out. The best way to feel the temperature of the door is to feel the top of the door with the back of your hand.
5.If the door is cool open it carefully and decide if you can get out safety. Remember that if the door is hot you should not open it.
6.If your room is filled with smoke remember to stay close to the floor. Smoke rises and if you can crawl along the floor you will be able to breathe more easily. Most people who have trouble getting out of burning houses struggle because of the effects of smoke. Being calm and low to the ground will help you to breathe better and therefore think more clearly about what you need to do to get out.
7.A child should never re-enter a burning building. Children often times have possession that they are very sentimentally attached to. Teach them that no matter what happens the “things” that they leave behind can be replaced and nothing is more important than the safety and well-being of the members of the family.
8.Have a predetermined meeting place that every member of the family knows to go to after they have gotten out of the house if there is a fire. This place should be a safe distance away from the home.
9.Designate one person to call the fire department once several of you have reached your safe gathering place.