Kids (and especially teens) aren’t always excited about education experiences that you may want them to have. Fire safety may not be the most captivating lesson that you will ever teach your children, but it may just be the most important lesson that they will ever learn if by chance the unthinkable happens and your children must be faced with the real life experience of having to escape from a burning building. Of course no parent wants to dwell on that thought. But it does go to show you that you should take the time and use any tip and trick that you can to make sure that your children are prepared in case they need to but their fire safety training to the ultimate test.
Make it fun and interesting
Kids are much more likely to show interest in whatever it is that you are trying to teach them if you can make the experience both fun and interesting. Some ways that you can make fire safety fun and interesting include making the learning experience a hands-on experience. Allow the children to go on a fire safety hunt through the house. Set up controlled scenarios where there may be a mock fire hazard (never compromise anyone’s safety during your teaching opportunities) and have the kids try to find the hazard and remedy it. Have your teenage children be in charge of creating an escape plan and putting on a fire drill for the family. Time how long it takes from the beginning of the drill until everyone is safe outside of the house at the predetermined meeting location. You can learn a lot about fire safety dangers that might exist in your home just by doing these drills. For example, you may find that children on the top stories will need to have a ladder in order to climb down to safety or you may find that one of the windows in a younger child’s room is too difficult for them to open and will need to be fixed. If possible, make these drills as close to real life situations as possible. There is simply no substitute for doing a fire drill at home as they are in no way like a fire drill at school.
Share stories about people who have been saved because they had a plan
Having a fire escape plan for your family and the importance of being aware of fire hazards in your home can really be emphasized through the use of real life stories and situations where kids were able to get out of a burning house safely or extinguish a small fire because they had paid attention during their fire safety lessons and had remembered what they needed to do.
Teach fire safety according to age level
Obviously a teenager is going to be able to retain a lot more information than a toddler when it comes to fire safety, yet it is still important that all the members of the family be participating in fire safety discussions. Keep the younger children’s attention by having them color pictures of what they should do if there is a fire, while the older children create an escape plan and try to solve logistical problems that will result in the most efficient evacuation plan possible. Everyone needs to be involved. Consider using videos or even taking a scheduled visit to the firehouse to add excitement to the fire education process. Remember that a child must hear something over and over again before they are able to commit that information to long tern memory. Have regular reminder meetings about fire safety.