One of the most important things a child can learn is what to do in case of a fire. While we all hope our children will never have to deal with a terrifying situation like a house fire, they can happen at any time and preparation is the best way to make sure they have a good chance of escaping or being rescued.
- Teach your kids to Stop, Drop, and Roll if they catch on fire. If they do not know what to do, it is likely they will simply panic so be sure to give them specific instructions and have them practice more than once.
- Teach your kids not to play with lighters or matches. Fire is not a toy and it is easy for it to get out of control, make sure your child knows never to play with candles or open flames of any kind and to avoid being near them while wearing loose clothing.
- Teach yours kids not to hide if there is a fire. Hiding is a common reaction in a scared child but it can make it much more difficult for firefighters to locate your child. Make sure they understand how important it is to avoid this impulse.
- Teach your kids not to stick anything in electrical sockets. Covering electrical sockets with child safety covers is another option, especially with very younger children who may not understand.
Preparing Your Home
There are many steps you can take as a homeowner to protect your family in case of a fire. The most important thing to do is to practice proper fire alarm maintenance. First, make sure you choose the right kind of fire alarm. There are many different types with a variety of power sources, technologies, and features.
Once you have chosen your alarm, be sure to install them in the appropriate locations. The law requires a working smoke alarm to be located on every storey of your home as well as outside of all sleeping areas. Avoid installing them adjacent to kitchens, bathrooms, air vents, or ceiling fans in order to avoid false positives. Now that they are properly installed, follow these simple maintenance tips:
- Manage nuisance alarms: If an alarm is frequently tripped, do not remove the battery. Instead, move the smoke alarm or purchase one with a hush feature. You may also wish to try a photoelectric alarm instead of an ionization alarm for that location.
- Change the batteries annually: Be sure to keep fresh batteries in your fire alarm. Change them every year or whenever you hear the low battery warning sounds.
- Test often: Be sure to make use of your smoke detector’s test button every month or after returning home from being away for more than a couple of days.
- Replace alarms as needed: Experts recommend installing new alarms at least every ten years.
Avoiding Fire Checklist
- Never leave cooking unattended.
- Keep flammable items away from the stove.
- Keep young children away from the stove.
- Wear-tight-fitting or rolled-up sleeves while cooking.
- Always keep a tight fitting lid nearby while using the stove. If a pot catches fire, quickly smother it with the lid and turn off the stove.
- Never try to move a burning pot.
- If you have a fire in the microwave, turn it off and keep the door closed.