Thursday, July 30, 2009

teaching fire safety to your children

Teaching our children about fire safety and protecting our homes.

  • Get your family involved.
  • Teach your children evacuation techniques, in case of a fire.
  • Have a plan and practice it.
  • Have a fire drill this week and see how everyone does.
  • Use a stopwatch and time everyone.
  • Set the meeting place at the end of the driveway.
  • Teach the children what to do if they hear the smoke detector in the middle of the night.

We may not be able to get to our children, and they need to know what to do. There are ways of explaining and teaching them without scaring them. Here are 10 tips on teaching fire safety to children from

  1. Escape Route Planning
    Designate two ways out of every room, if possible. Today’s media rooms (rooms created without windows) can create a particular fire entrapment issue, and parents should evaluate their home and establish a plan in those instances.
  2. Windows Are For More Than Fresh Air
    Make sure that windows are not stuck closed, that screens can be removed quickly, and that security bars can be opened. For parents in particular, if a child’s bedroom is upstairs, they should be able to complete these tasks in the event of an emergency.
  3. Second Floor Safety
    Escape ladders should be placed near second floor windows, and children should practice using them. For extremely young kids, a “mini-exercise” from a first-floor window can at least educate the child as to expectations.
  4. Feeling Way to Safety
    Children should practice feeling their way out of the home in the dark or with their eyes closed. Parents and providers can turn this into a game by blindfolding a child and placing in a room and asking them to feel their way to a designated area. Daycares and childcare providers can set it up as an obstacle course, and then provide cues and help so that when they reach a designated end point, a special treat awaits! (It could be as simple as lunch served outside!)
  5. 9-1-1 Is A Critical Teaching Skill
    Children show know how to call 911. Consider teaching a 911 song to reinforce the numbers (one option is sung to “Frere Jacques”): There’s a fire! There’s a fire! 9-1-1! 9-1-1! Call the fire department! Call the fire department! 9-1-1! 9-1-1! Reinforce this by letting them practice on an unplugged phone. Or, have them create telephones with large keypads they can practice on. (One crafty childcare provider uses the small sticky notes taped on a cardboard phone cutout.)
  6. Smoke Detectors 101
    Teach children about smoke detectors, why they are installed, how they work, and the sound that they make. Children need to be able to associate the sound going off with a fire as part of fire safety for kids. Adults should change batteries regularly to avoid having the alarm go off because batteries are running low, and risk frightening a child.
  7. Out Means Stay Out
    Teach children that once they are out of a burning house or building, they must go to the designated place and never, ever venture back in. If someone or a family pet is missing, they should inform a fire fighter or adult. There are too many tragedies that could have been avoided in the cases where an individual who has gotten out safely to venture back in the home or building, only to perish.
  8. It’s In The Touch
    Instruct kids how to check doors to see if they are hot, and if so, how to find another way out. Fire safety for kids includes having them find a towel to use for handling, touching or grabbing items to avoid burns, and to also use the towel or cover to protect their faces and cover their mouths.
  9. Stop, Drop and Roll
    Teach kids what to do in the event that their clothes catch fire. Make sure they understand “stop, drop and roll.” Many a fire-related injury could have been avoided or greatly minimized if a child heeded this advice instead of the natural instinct of running.
  10. Practice Monthly
    Practice your escape plan at least twice a year with children as part of fire safety for kids, preferably monthly. Families and providers should also practice fire drills and alter areas affected by fire.

Another great website for you children to play on and learn with games, coloring, puzzles, quizzes and more and they can even become a Jr Fire Marshal and download a certificate they can proudly display!


  1. Great post - this is such a vitally important subject! My niece was killed in a house fire, so this really hits home for me. Thanks for sharing the valuable info. :)

  2. I really need to do this especially being in the new house. I really have not given it thought but will now. Thanks for this great article.

  3. You made some good points there.I did a search on the topic and found most people will agree with your blog.Thanks


  4. Thank you so much for all this great information! I'll be printing this out and using it to update my current fire safety plan with my family.

    If I may also recommend you adding Smoke Hoods to the list if possible. They have them for adults and kids, I have everyone keep theirs in the bedroom.

    Again thanks! Great article.

  5. Thanks for sharing these tips. I think children need to be cared for in a safe and healthy environment. No matter where they go, being in a positive environment is essential to good health. Part of being a good parent is making sure that your child meets all of his goals at home, school and at play. Good care giving skills help to provide the foundation for a healthy and active childhood.