Home fires often start and spread rapidly. Leaving a candle unattended or forgetting about something cooking on the stove may give a family barely two minutes to escape after the smoke alarm sounds. By teaching fire safety tips for kids, your children will learn fire safety at a young age and minimize the risk of a serious fire in the home.
Be Wary of Hot Surfaces and Other Hazardous Household Items
Children should be taught early on that radiators, heaters, ovens, and lamps may generate large quantities of heat. For example, kids may not think anything of throwing a blanket over a lamp while building a fort. However, this simple action may prove very dangerous if the lamp is switched on and is hot to the touch. Encourage kids to exercise caution when approaching wood stoves and fireplaces as well.
Included in your fire safety tips for kids is electrical safety. Declare electrical cords and electrical sockets off limits unless they’re plugging in something that they need to use. They should never stick foreign objects into electrical socket. Consider other common items around your home that may pose a threat and offer warnings accordingly.
Use Matches and Lighters Appropriately
Teach your kids that matches and lighters aren’t toys and should never be used as such:
- Keep matches and lighters stored out of your little ones’ reach.
- As kids grow older, demonstrate how and when to use matches and lighters, such as lighting a scented candle or the candles on a birthday cake.
- Supervise your kids when they begin to use matches and lighters until they’re able to do so independently.
Practice Safe Cooking Techniques
The earlier kids learn how to be safe in the kitchen, the more likely they are to implement these practices on their own. Limit distractions while you’re cooking, especially while you’re using sharp tools, completing complex tasks, and working with open flames and hot surfaces. Don’t ever leave a hot oven or stovetop unattended. Set a timer when you’re preparing a recipe where the food cooks undisturbed for a long period of time so you don’t forget about it.
Devise and Practice a Home Fire Escape Plan
Create a home fire escape plan that details a minimum of two ways out of every room in the house if fire breaks out. The first way out should always be a door. Choose a designated meeting area outside of your home, such as in front of a neighbor’s home, where your family can meet up once everyone is out of the house.
Practice the plan periodically so that family members are comfortable leaving the house quickly, especially from their sleeping areas. Knowing where the nearest exits are located and having a plan will significantly increase your family’s ability to deal with sudden emergencies. Get a stopwatch and time the practice drill. Children will enjoy the competitive nature that comes with timing the exercise and may work to beat each other during subsequent drills.
DOWNLOAD: Fire Safety Coloring Pages
Maintain Your Smoke Alarms
Finally, keep your home and family safe by installing smoke alarms on every level of the home and in every sleeping area. Show kids where the smoke alarms are located so they can make sure they’re working properly and are quickly identify the source of a fire in the event that one is activated. Test your smoke alarms monthly, and change the batteries twice a year. A simple way to remember the task is change the batteries whenever you change your clocks for Daylight Savings Time.