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What to Teach Your Kids About Fire Safety 

a child presses their hands against the glass door of a fireplace

Kids are naturally curious about fire, so parents need to walk a fine line between satisfying their curiosity while instilling good fire safety practices. Use their curious nature to start a conversation about fire safety, and be sure to cover the following points.

Matches and Lighters Are Never Toys

Unfortunately, a child’s natural curiosity can lead to serious accidents if he or she doesn’t know that lighters and matches are never to be played with. It’s important that you teach your children not to play with fire starters. This is more than just a conversation. Your children learn by example, so avoid using lighters and matches to entertain your kids. Keep them out of reach and out of your children’s hands, which includes not asking them to bring them to you. As your children get older, you may want to teach them how to start fires on their own for cooking, camping, or simply lighting candles. Ensure that your older kids are always under close supervision when handling lighters or matches, and be sure to continue to treat fire starters as tools, not toys. Keep only lighters with child-resistant features in the house.

What to Do During a House Fire

Each home is different, and each requires a different approach to an escape plan. Talk to your kids about what specifically to do in your home in the event of a house fire. Where should each one go from their bedroom? Where should everyone meet outside? Who can they call and how can they make contact if you’re not home at the time?

Complement this discussion with printable activities to keep the young ones engaged in the discussion. Consider running drills so they remember what to do during an emergency.

How to Put Out a Fire

Chances are your kids are going to learn about Stop, Drop, and Roll at school, but the discussion of what to do in case of a fire goes beyond that. You may not think your child will ever need to put out a fire, or that an adult will always be around to handle the situation, but the circumstances of a fire are often out of our control. What might happen if you step outside while dinner is in the oven and it catches fire, only for your kids to be unable to call you inside in time? What if they encounter a fire at a friend’s home and no one else is around to help?

Talk to your kids about various ways to put out fires, from using water to put them out to stomping them out with your shoe to smother the embers. Discuss the difference between electrical fires, grease fires, and other types and how to handle each situation. Even if your kids don’t use this knowledge now, it may just help when they’re older and have a home of their own.

How to Use a Fire Extinguisher

When you’re talking about different ways to put out fires, be sure to cover information on fire extinguishers. Discuss how to use them, and consider purchasing a cheap one for them to practice on. Tell your kids where they can find the fire extinguisher in your house, and be sure they’re easy for them to get to in case an emergency ever arises. Emphasize that they are not toys and should only be used in an emergency.

The fire safety skills you teach your kids will depend on how old they are and what you personally believe your child can handle. Remain especially cautious with very young children, and always supervise older kids around fire.

Western Safe offers fire safes and other vaults intended to protect your valuables from fire damage if the worst happens. While you focus on protecting your children, let us focus on finding the right safe for your valuables. Get in touch with us today to learn more.

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