When it comes to preventing a fire and getting out of a given structure when a fire does break out, most adults probably know what to do, but that knowledge doesn’t necessarily extend to children. It’s up to parents to educate their kids about the steps they can take to stay safe, and some of those precautions are discussed in a new report.
The best way to promote safety is to keep a fire from ever breaking out in the first place. Doing that will require the efforts of parents and children alike. Parents ought to make sure that the home is free of things like frayed electrical cords. They should ensure that the fireplace works properly and that children don’t go near it. If smoking takes place, it should take place outside the home and the ashes should be placed in the appropriate receptacle.
Children should feel comfortable pointing out hazards to a parent. They may have a point of view that an adult wouldn’t even think about. You should stress to kids that matches and lighters are not toys and should never be treated as such. Tell them to also be careful near a fireplace or even candles. Explain the danger that these things pose and ask them to bring any discarded flammable items to you whenever they find them simply lying around.
Parents should develop a plan that can be put into practice should a fire break out despite the precautions taken. That way, children will know what they need to do to get out of the house safely. A child that’s not aware of the proper exit procedures in the event of a fire may do something that puts them more in danger. Their first instinct may be to hide within the home, for instance.
Instead, make sure that you go over how to get out of the house. Then, review these steps on a regular basis. Have your children try to open the windows and unlock the doors inside the home so that they will be able to do that when a fire breaks out. Ensure that a child knows that, once he or she is outside, they are to remain there until told to go back in by a parent or rescue officials.
Teach children to respect the emittance of a smoke alarm, and tell them that they should get low to the ground if they have to exit the home. Finally, stress to them the importance of dialing 911 once they’re out. You’ll hopefully be with them, but if you somehow get separated, they should know how to call for help.