Teach your kids about fire safety and fire protection.
Household fires are one of the worst things that can happen in your home. Kids usually don’t know what to do in this situation, and they’re also the most at risk for this reason, which is why it is so important to teach basic fire safety tips for children as soon as you can. We have complied 13 essential fire prevention or escape tips to help you out:
- Don’t play with matches or lighters
- Teach them about heat detection and smoke alarms
- Don’t hide in a fire emergency.
- Discuss escape routes in the house.
- Open the windows.
- Carefully check for a hot door handle.
- Stop, drop, and roll.
- Call for help. Dial 000.
- Go! Go! Go! And get down low!
- Never leave toys near heaters or fires.
- Hold a quick-fire safety equipment training.
- Don’t go back inside.
- Make training fun.
1. Don’t play with matches or lighters
The first of our fire safety tips for kids is not to let a fire start in the first place. Always remind kids that lighters and matches are not toys and that they should stay away from these things. You may need to explain the damages that they can cause to the family and the house. If your children are below five years old, make sure to keep these items far from their reach.
2. Teach them about Heat Detection and Smoke Alarms
Kids need to understand the purpose of smoke alarms. It’s best if you can explain to them why they are installed, how they work and what sounds they make (when there is a fire and when the battery is low). Children should be able to relate the sound with fire. Don’t forget to change the batteries in any alarms every 6 months at least.
3. Don’t Hide in A Fire Emergency
Children have the tendency to hide if they feel afraid, finding refuge in cupboards or under the bed, so make it clear to them that, if there is fire, they need to go outside.
They should go out as soon as they hear the smoke alarm, see fire, or smell smoke and they must try their best to call for help and crawl to the nearest exit (see fire safety tips for kids #9. Go! Go! Go! and Get Down Low!)
4. Discuss Escape Routes in The House
Figure out the ways your children can get out of every room in the house, usually through a window or door. Some rooms don’t have windows and might cause a fire entrapment issue, so it’s crucial to inspect your home and create a plan for these situations.
Choose a designated area outside the house like the mailbox or end of the driveway as a meeting point – tell your kids how to go there and to wait for you in case of fire.
5. Open the windows
Windows and security bars, especially in bedrooms, should be openable and screens must be removable and older kids must be shown how to do this on their own in case of emergency.
6. Carefully Check for a Hot Door Handle
Kids should be shown how to check the temperature of the doors to determine if they’re hot and unsafe. If the door is too hot, they must either have an alternative way out or be able to look for a thick towel to use for touching or handling items and preventing burns. They must also know how to use the towel to cover their mouths and faces.
7. Stop, Drop and Roll
This is an enjoyable way to teach children what to do if their clothes catch fire. You can also add the game “Stay Low and Go” to the fire safety plan.
8. Call for help, Dial 000
Children need to know the correct emergency number to call when help is needed. They must memorise 000 by heart, not 911. Many kids watch American TV shows and movies where characters are sometimes seen calling 911. Remind them the number 000 is the correct phone number for Australian emergency services. Showing them how to access a mobile phone when the screen is locked could save lives.
9. Go! Go! Go! and Get Down Low!
The primary cause of death in house fires is smoke inhalation because many people don’t know that the air is cleaner and cooler lower to the ground. Therefore, children must learn to get down low and crawl their way to safety.
Make it a habit to practice the fire escape plan with the kids. It must be automatic for them to go down low and crawl to the nearby exit. Also, children who use a mobility aid must have a smoke protection mask.
10. Never Leave Toys Near Heaters or Fires
Toys are sometimes made out of highly flammable materials. To stay safe, teach your children to keep their toys at least a metre from heaters or fires. More importantly, teach them to put their toys in their proper storage bin once they finished playing. These can be a trip and fall hazard especially in the poor light conditions caused by smoke in a fire.
11. Hold Quick-Fire Safety Equipment Training
It is also beneficial for older kids or teens to learn the basics of using fire safety equipment:
How To Use a Fire Extinguisher
There are four steps in operating a fire extinguisher, commonly known as the “PASS” technique:
First, pull the pin found at the top of the extinguisher. The pin prevents the handle from being accidentally pushed. Test the extinguisher right away before going near the fire. Make sure that it is functioning correctly.
Stand from a safe distance from the fire. Direct the extinguisher’s nozzle at the base of the fire.
Squeeze the handle to release the fire extinguishing agent. Release the handle to stop. Always stay at a safe distance before you release the handles in case the fire flares up again.
Sweep the fire extinguishers nozzle from side to side. Keep your aim at the base of the fire.
12. Don’t Go Back Inside
Children might find it hard if they have to leave someone or something behind like family members or pets. They need to understand that their safety should be their number one priority. If you have any pets left behind, escape as soon as you can and tell the firefighters at the scene of the fire to rescue the pet instead of trying to rescue them yourself.
13. Make Training Fun
You don’t need to be too dramatic or serious when you talk to your kids about fire safety, and you don’t want to bore them or scare them away. Do your best to make the learning process enjoyable. One awesome example is to organise a fire-fighting game where they will practice exit routes.
Secure Your Kids’ Safety with Help from Redmen Fire Protection Management
As the old saying goes, prevention is better than cure. Many of the Fire Safety tips for children apply after a fire starts or after it’s out of control. However, it’s not enough to just install automatic sprinklers, heat detection and smoke alarms in your home. You also need to check that your home complies with fire safety standards.
Redmen Fire Protection can help you do this. We’ll visit your home and check if the fire protection system in your house is sufficient. We also provide maintenance, certification and fire safety training.