Kids: In order to stay safe from fires, you have to take the time to educate yourself. The first thing to learn is fire prevention. What can you do to help make sure that a fire never happens? One tip is to keep clothes and blankets away from lights. Even though electric lights don’t have open flames like candles, they still heat up fast and anything too close heats up with it. If clothes or a blanket is near the light bulb, it could catch fire and start burning within minutes. Keep the cord from your lamps, TV, video games or electronic toys tucked neatly out of the way so people don’t trip over them. Do not put them under the rug. They have an electric current running through them and if the cord were to be broken, the free electricity could spark a fire. Don’t leave a space heater too close to your bed, even if it’s really cold. Also, keep papers at least three feet away from them at all times. Never cook without adults around. Last but not least, you’ve heard it a thousand times because it’s very important: never play with matches or lighters.
Even if you do your best to prevent fires, sometimes they still happen. So be ready! Make sure you know of at least two ways out of every room. The door is one, but you need to find a backup. Your family should decide on a place to meet when you’re all out of the house. That way, if someone is missing you’ll know they’re not waiting somewhere else. Practice the escape plan once a month so you’re ready if a fire ever does happen. Also, remember to have your parents test the smoke alarms. If there is a fire in the middle of the night, the ringing will wake you up. But if the fire alarm is broken, you’ll keep sleeping and be at a greater risk of harm. If there is a fire in your house, get outside as quick as you can. Smoke rises, so stay low to the ground. Crawl if you can. Cover your mouth with a piece of clothing. It will help to filter the smoke so you don’t breathe in as much. Be careful of hot doors. If you feel a door is very hot, try to find a different way out of the room. If your clothes catch fire, stop, drop to the ground and roll on the flames until they go out. When you get outside, call 911. Never, ever, go back into the house, even if you’re worried about a pet. If you find yourself stuck in a house that’s on fire and a firefighter comes to rescue you, go with them. If they found their way in, they know their way out.
Mom and Dad, you can imagine how frightening a house fire might be for a child. Now picture how much worse it would be if your child wasn’t fully educated about them. Their most familiar environment is suddenly dark and hard to breathe in. Do your own part and make your house as fireproof as possible. Keep smoke detectors stocked with fresh batteries. Design an escape plan. Start by drawing up a sketch of your home. Or better yet, if your child is talented enough, have him or her help! Then brainstorm with them and discuss two ways to get out of every room. Buy window screens that can a child can easily remove. Be sure they keep their belongings away from the house radiators and space heaters. You should stress that the stove is not a toy even though some of the most delicious foods come from it. Finally, tell your children never to play with matches or lighters and that if they see one, they should tell you or another adult. If you feel your child has an unusual fascination with fire, teach them that it is a tool and that it is too dangerous for play.
Links for Kids
Kids! Learn more about fire safety with the resources and activities below:
Links for Parents
Parents, learn more about fire safety in order to protect you and your family: