A Fire Safety Message for Your Children
Young children are particularly vulnerable to fire hazards and it is therefore important to teach them about fire safety in the home. A number of parents will turn to the internet or visit the local library to search out this information. Such steps are unnecessary. Much of what can be taught is common sense. By taking practical steps and ensuring your home is safe you can help reduce the risk to children.
Child education programs often suggest formulating a plan of what to do in the event of a fire that the whole family understands. It should be kept simple enough so that young children under the age of 12 will know what to do. Youngsters are often exposed to lighters and matches at school or in the park so get to them first and warn them of the hazards of playing with fire, before curiosity gets the better of them. Try to enforce the message that lighters and matches are not toys and should not be treated as such, and if you keep such items at home, place them somewhere little hands cannot reach.
In the home, the kitchen is a prime spot for fires so be sure to teach children about kitchen safety. It might be an idea to keep youngsters out of the kitchen while you are cooking until they reach an age when they know how to be safe. A common cause of fires in the kitchen is oil being left on the stove at a high temperature so it is important to keep an eye on flammable products. It is worth noting that it is actually adults who are more likely to start a fire. Be sure to let children know this fact. It will help build their awareness but also their confidence.
Children need to know what to do in case of a fire breaking out. Tell them what they should do if they ever catch on fire or find themselves trapped in thick smoke. In emergency situations children will rely on their parents or the nearest adults to keep them safe. Stay calm – it will only make matters worse if the adults start to panic. The important points to remember and pass on to children are if clothes catch on fire, drop to the ground and roll around until it is extinguished. In the event of thick smoke, it is crucial to get the child wrapped in a wet blanket crawling below the smoke.
Educating children about the dangers of fire is a long process with parents and guardians being the educators. While you may think your house is completely safe, you can never be sure – hazards are everywhere. To reduce the risk ensure your house is well-equipped with smoke alarms and consider purchasing non-traditional vocal smoke alarms that allow you to set up an alert using your own voice. You can then record instructions on what to do, which is great for younger children as the sound of your voice may help them to calm down.
As the adult, the child¹s safety lies in your hands so it is important that you constantly keep up-to-date with the safety information out there and pass it on to them – do not let your child become susceptible.