Fire prevention is a responsibility that every member of the household has. No matter the age of a child there is something that they can learn about safety with fire. Of course the best way to really test your family’s knowledge on fire safety is to make sure that you never have any fires in the first place. There is no magical spell for preventing a fire from ever occurring in your home, but there are definitely some things that will lower your risks. Here are just a few rules for your kids about fire safety.
•Check all of your electrical appliances, cords and outlets to make sure that there are no loose or frayed cords or plugs. Outlets should not be overloaded with too many plugs nor should extension cords be overused.
•Have kids tell you if they notice something that needs a repair. Replace or professionally repair any appliances that spark, smell unusual, or overheat.
•Unless you’re a trained electrician, be careful about do-it-yourself electrical projects. Studies have shown that many home fires are caused by improper installation of electrical devices.
•Make sure lamps, night-lights, and heaters are not touching bedspreads, drapes, or other fabrics. It is recommended that these devices are kept at least 3 feet away form anything flammable. You should also use caution when using electric blankets. Don’t run electrical wires under rugs.
•Don’t let kids use kitchen appliances by themselves. Children should be supervised by an adult when working with anything that could burn them or cause a fire. When cooking, you should never leave the kitchen or leave the stove-top unattended.
•Protect little ones from endangering themselves and others by putting plastic covers on outlets.
•If anyone in the house smokes, make sure that they do so outside and at a safe distance from the house. Deep ash trays should be used and if the cigarette butts are thrown in the garbage make sure that they are run under water first.
•Campfires and barbeques are fun but dangerous. Do not let your guard down when with outdoor fires. They are still just as dangerous and many kids injure themselves because they play too close to a fire or do things that spread the fire making it unsafe for everyone else.
What to do in case of a fire
•Have a fire extinguisher in the home and make sure that each family member knows how to use it. Also make sure that everyone knows when to use a fire extinguisher, when to use another method of snuffing out a fire, and when it is time to escape from a house fire.
•Have an emergency fire escape plan. This plan should include two separate methods of escaping a bedroom. You should also decide on a place where the family should meet outside of the house. Regular fire drills should be held to address any problems in the plan or any difficulties that any of the family members had while trying to escape. Certainly any new additions to the family should make for some changes in the escape plan to ensure that every family member has the help that they need to escape from the house as quickly as possible. During your fire drills you will also want to time how long it takes your whole family to get out of the house and work towards improving your time.
•Teach your kids what to do in case a piece of their clothing catches fire. They need to stop, drop, and roll, to get the fire out. Reminding them often about this method of fire suppression will help them to think clearly and not over-react if they ever need to put the rule to stop, drop, and roll into action.