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Children's Problem Solver: Fire Safety*

Be Fire-Safe! Fire can be very dangerous. It moves quickly and can hurt you. The thought of a fire in your home can be scary. By looking out for fire hazards and knowing what to do in case of a fire, you can help keep your home and family safe.

Be alert. Be aware of things that could start a fire.
Have grown-ups look for old and worn-out electrical cords and notice wall sockets that look like they have too many plugs. Make sure an adult is always present when something is cooking on the stove and watch for burning candles, lamps and space heaters near things that can catch fire (like clothes and bedding).

Never touch. Never play with matches, lighters, candles or electrical cords. These are not toys and are very dangerous. Remind grown-ups to keep matches and lighters in a safe place such as a locked cabinet. Never stick things into a wall socket – the electricity can burn or shock you.

Ask an adult. If you think something is wrong, always tell an adult. If you find a burning candle that has been forgotten, tell an adult right away. Ask an adult to remove matches, lighters and old electrical cords, especially ones near your bed. Make sure they fix any over-loaded wall sockets. Remind your parents to be fire-safe – just like you!

Use smoke alarms. Smoke alarms save lives!
Your home should have smoke alarms on every level (even the basement). It's especially important to have them outside of each sleeping area. Have a grown-up test the batteries once a month to make sure they work. Batteries should be replaced once a year, or when you hear the alarm "chirp"—that means that the battery is low. If you sleep with the door closed, have grown-ups consider having interconnected alarms installed. These alarms (installed by a qualified electrician) are connected so that if one sounds, they all sound.

Plan and practice. If your family doesn’t have a home fire escape plan, make one today; it's easy! Start by walking through your home and identifying two ways out of every room (one way out might be the door; the other could be a window). Then draw out your escape plan, so you can post it where everyone in the family can see it. Pick an outside meeting place where everyone can gather after they've escaped safely (a neighbor's house, a mailbox, or even a tree will do). Make sure that you mark the spot you've picked on your escape plan.

* Tips provided by the Sleep Products Safety Council



Fire Safety

What Parents Can Do
Parents play a critical role in keeping their families and children safe from home fires.