Raising a child is exciting
and challenging. Their energy, curiosity and creativity seem to sky-rocket each
day. However, this curiosity can cause trouble when kids encounter fire hazards
in the home; such as playing with matches, lighters and old electrical cords
that can lead to burns and even death.
Unfortunately, children of all ages start 100,000 fires annually. Over 30
percent of fires that kill children are set by children playing with fire and
two-thirds of those start in the bedroom by children playing with matches and
lighters. However, you can help make your bedrooms and entire home safer by
making sure your family is fire-conscious and aware.
What Parents Can Do. Parents play a critical role in making sure their
families and children are safe from home fires.
- Educate your children about fire-safety. Make sure your children know
that fire can be dangerous. Teach them to recognize potential hazards, like
worn-out electrical cords, candles burning unattended and over-loaded wall
sockets, and tell them to always ask for your help when using space heaters
and other electrical appliances. Most importantly, teach them to NEVER play
with matches and lighters and explain to them why.
- Remove potential hazards. Don’t leave matches, lighters or cigarettes
lying around. Remove old electrical cords and plug up unused electrical
sockets. Keep clothes, drapes, bedding and other flammables away from
candles, lamps, space heaters and stoves. Tell children not to play or leave
toys near the oven or stove-top.
- Think like a kid. In fact, bend down or crawl around on the ground if
you must –see what may catch a child’s eye. House-hold items that seem
obviously dangerous to you might seem like toys to your children.
- Have the right tools. Smoke alarms save lives! See that all smoke
detectors in your home are working properly and always remember to change
the batteries. Make sure you have at least one on each floor, especially in
or directly outside bedrooms.
- Make an escape plan and share it. Have your family practice leaving the
house in case of a fire. Teach them two different ways to leave each room.
Choose a special meeting place for your family in case a fire starts and
teach them to immediately get out and stay out. PRACTICE and get the whole
- Lead by example. Show your children that fire is a tool, not a toy. They
will listen. Always remember that education can save your child’s life.