How to Teach Your Kids About Fire Safety

posted: 01/20/16
by: TLCme
Funny little boy having fun with fire truck picture drawing with

The popularity of toys like hoverboards (and some brands' tendency to catch fire), it feels more important than ever to teach kids about the importance of fire safety. But fire safety is something that's crucial for people of all ages to know about at all times, toy trends notwithstanding. Here are some key facts to know and habits to instill in your family.

1. Most fires start in the kitchen. According to the National Fire Protection Association, cooking supplies are the most common cause of fires in the home. So keeping kids safe in the kitchen -- and a safe distance from hot equipment -- is key. If you have gas burners on your stove, be extra vigilant about keeping matches away from where children can reach them.

2. Have an emergency escape plan. The NFPA also recommend setting up a detailed escape plan (even one that includes mapping out your home's floorplan) that whole family can follow in case of fire or other emergency. They also recommend everyone memorize their fire department's emergency number so you can get right to the people you need, right away (we find that having this information taped up on the refrigerator where everyone sees it -- including babysitters, can help).

3. Don't smoke. There's obviously so many health reasons to quit smoking, but smoking-related fires are also the largest cause of fire fatalities in homes. Cigarettes, lighters and matches should be kept out of the home whenever possible -- and certainly out of the reach of children.

4. Educate kids about smoke and fire alarms. You've probably heard that it's a good habit to replace smoke alarms twice a year, when you turn your clocks back or forward with the daylight saving calendar. It's also a good idea to explain to kids what the loud beeping means and how that should set in motion the emergency escape plan you've created.

5. Make sure kids fully understand fire safety. The key is to have kids be aware of the risks and how they should respond to any signs of fire. Encourage them to ask questions, and you can even make it into a game to get them to interact with the plan. The NFPA created Sparky the Fire Dog to make safety fun and engaging for kids -- check out the Sparky The Fire Dog website for mobile apps, games and more.