Child Fire Safety
Children are attracted to fire. If left unsupervised, they do find ways to light their own fires and experiment with burning things from small sticks to newspapers and even more flammable items. Child fire safety is necessary for every household to protect children from fire injuries.
To enhance the safety of your home against fires, every household should have provisions in place as a precaution against accidents caused by fire.
Keep your child under supervision at all times~Having an adult around in your home will ensure that any mischief that your child gets in to that has to do with fire is detected as quickly as possible. Unattended children will always get their hands on things that their parents have forbidden, so do not give them an opportunity to do so.
Teach your young one about child fire safety~Incidents of fire in the home are reduced significantly when the young ones in the home are aware of the uses and dangers of fire. You can teach your child to avoid playing with matches and the simple “stop, drop and roll” routine, as well as how to keep calm during a fire and to call the fire department’s emergency number if the situation arises.
Check your fire extinguisher and smoke detector alarms for functionality~
Make it a habit of checking that all fire safety measures in your home are fully functional. Equipment such as fire extinguishers should be located in easily accessible areas and should be up to the safety standards required. Check the batteries in your smoke alarms and change them on a regular basis, because a smoke alarm is one of the most reliable indicators of fire in any building.
We suggest you pick a child’s birthday and one other significant family date (ideally close to Christmas, especially if you have a real Christmas tree in your home over the holidays). Have all family members participate in this exercise including young children. Having your whole family participate in child fire safety procedures will aid in establishing life-long fire safety habits.
Flammable materials should be out of your child’s reach~Kerosene, lighters, matches, paint and alcohol must be stored in lockable cabinets indoors and/or in store rooms outside the home that your child cannot access. This requires an inventory of your household’s flammable items and the proper storage for them.
Electrical appliances must be stored safely~Fires can be started by electrical malfunctions, whether the equipment is plugged in the wrong way, or if live wires come into contact with water and so on. Please ensure that your child cannot get to electrical tools. Have items such as microwave ovens installed with no wires exposed. Toasters and blenders should be stored safely after use and you should teach your child how to use these items the right way when they become of age. Any appliances not in regular use and especially during extended times when the family is away from the home should be unplugged as a safety precaution.
Child-proof all sockets in the house to ensure child fire safety~Children can not only get electrocuted but also start fires by interfering with the sockets in the home. Childproof sockets will give no room for your child to poke forks, pens or a variety of other items into the socket and minimizes the chance of electric shock and fires.
Have a fire escape arrangement for your family~A fire in any home always raises panic and fear in the family and to escape a fire successfully one must have a clear plan in place. From the moment the smoke detector alarm goes off, you should know the closest exit to go through. Also, having regular fire drills will help you to practice and find out whether your escape plan is feasible.
Understand that a child always hides in the face of fear~An extremely important aspect of child fire safety is understanding that hiding in closets or under the bed is a natural reaction for a child when exposed to a threat, but in the case of a fire, this can be extremely dangerous.
You will need to find your child as soon as a fire breaks out, so teach them not to hide away. Your child will also be very scared of a fireman in a gas mask and uniform, so teach them what a fireman looks like and that the fireman is the good guy. Many local fire departments participate in community awareness programs in addition to an annual fire prevention week. Call today and find out more about one in your community. Take your child so they will have an experience seeing firemen in full dress during a positive interaction, which could save their life if you should have a fire in your home as they will be desensitized to the fear of fire first responders in your home and they will go to help instead of hiding.