Fire Safety Tips
Every adult charged with the responsibility of a child’s safety should know the dangers that a fire presents to a child. There are plenty of resources on fire prevention and safety in the home which parents and caregivers can use. Fire safety tips can go a long way in the home’s fire safety plan.
Smoke detector alarms are a must-have in your home~Smoke detector alarms are usually the first thing that alerts you that a fire has been started, and even if you have a strong sense of smell or intuition, you will still need them. You will need smoke detector alarms on every floor of your home, as well as outside every bedroom. Test them regularly by holding up a lighted match under it. The alarm should go off in a few seconds. A smoke detector alarm should be loud enough to wake you from your sleep and be heard all through the house. Changing the batteries for your smoke detector alarms twice every year should be on your fire safety checklist. Include all family members in the tasks even younger children and make it informative for their age.
Practice your fire escape regularly~Every family should have a fire escape plan for use in case a fire breaks out in the home. You can only find out whether the plan is practical enough by having routine fire drills with your family. You need to decide on two ways of leaving every room and a meeting place outside the house. Provide a time limit for everyone to leave the house, which is usually 3 minutes. Keep practicing your plan to perfect it, and develop a new one if you move homes. Don’t forget to have a plan at Grandma’s house or anywhere else overnight or frequent stays take place.
Place space heaters away from flammable materials.~All space heaters should be at least 3 feet from the curtains, furniture, and clothing to prevent them from catching fire. Never let your children sit or play too close to the heater, and never leave it on when you go to sleep. Only turn on the heaters when you are home and you can keep watch over your child.
Keep matches and lighters away from your child~This is one of the fire safety tips that are the easiest to neglect. You may be vigilant about the placement of your matches and lighters in the beginning, but with distractions that occur daily in every household with children, you might begin to loosen up your guard over the matches. Make it a habit that you always place matches in locked cabinets, probably high above the stove where your child cannot reach. You can choose to have child safety lighters, but your child can learn how to open them. Store lighters the same way as matches.
Ingrain the “stop, drop and roll” technique in your child~This routine is tried and true and will definitely help your child put out the fire if it gets on their clothes. Remember that if this happens, your child will be in a state of panic. Have your child master the procedure.
Focus on your cooking habits in the kitchen~Most fires originate from the kitchen. Leaving the gas on, placing the oven mittens or cloth too close to open flames and putting the wrong utensils in the microwave oven are some examples. These can result due to distractions which cause you to leave the kitchen unattended. The main remedy for this is child supervision. It is not advisable to have your little one around in the kitchen when you are cooking, so have your spouse, babysitter or older child keep them occupied in another area of your house whenever possible. If not, have a ‘safe’ area in the kitchen where your child has a quiet activity to do while your cooking. Very very important, do not use water to extinguish a cooking fire as it may cause the fire to spread.
Keep your electric equipment away from your child~Children can cause fires by playing with electricity, the common example is sticking metal objects into electrical sockets. This puts them at risk of electrocution in addition to the possibility of starting a fire. Childproof electrical sockets can go a long way to helping with child safety and teach them also about the safe use of electricity.
These fire safety tips are just some of the things you can do around the home to prevent fires and teach good child safety in the home, there are much more things to do and we at New Child Safety strongly encourage you to attend fire safety week in your community to learn more.