Important Things to Teach Children about Fire Safety

by Kelly Marshall
(San Francisco, CA, USA)

What would happen if your child hears a smoke detector go off? Would he know what to do? Would he hide or would he let you know and get out of the home? Don't assume that your child is well informed on fire safety. You need to take the time to teach your child what to do if something happens. While you may think your child knows what to do, you may be surprised to find out that your child knows very little about fire safety in the home. For this reason, find out what your child does know and the work on teaching him more about fire safety - it could save his life.

Many parents find themselves wondering what exactly they should teach their kids about proper fire safety. There are many variables that can change how you react to a fire, but there are some simple things that you can teach your kids that will keep them safe if a fire occurs.

- Teach kids to get out of the house as fast as possible and to stay out of the house. They can replace their clothes, toys, and other items in the home but they cannot be replaced.

- Make sure kids know not to try to put a fire out on their own. This will only cut down on the time they have to escape the home.

- You also want to teach kids to call 911, but teach them to call it from the home of a neighbor or their cell phone if they have one. You don't want them to stay in the house to make the call.

- When sleeping, have kids sleep with the door shut. This could protect them from a fire.

- Kids should be taught to feel doorways before opening them. Feeling the door by using the back of the hand will help you tell if there is heat, since the back of the hand is more sensitive than the palm of your hand.

It is important that you sit down with kids and come up with a good emergency escape plan. Talk about the plan with your kids so they are very familiar with it. However, talking is not enough. You need to actually practice this plan as well. Always have a place for the family to meet if a problem occurs as well.

There are a variety of other lessons and practices that should be used in your home for proper fire safety. For example, it is important that kids know at least two ways to get out of the room they are in if a fire occurs. Also teach them that when they get out they need to go immediately to the meeting place that has been pre designated.

Of course, the familiar "stop, drop, and roll" idea is important for kids to know. Make sure they do this if their clothing catches on fire. They should also be taught to cover their face with hands to avoid getting burned in the face. It's important that you keep kids from blocking the exit areas when they go to bed as well. Keep toys and furniture out of the way so escape paths are clear.

Kelly Marshall is a writer for, the leader in fire safety.

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