As parents we rehearse in our minds exactly what we might do in case of a fire. How we would get our children out, what we might try to save. And while a fire is tragic event that no one wants to experience, an even worse thought is what might happen if there’s a fire in your home when you’re not there, especially if your children are home alone.
Image by Loco Steve
People often feel like they might be jinxing something by preparing for the worst, but in this case it could save the lives of your children, so it’s time to get over the horror of the thought and the superstitious feelings and teach your kids exactly what they should do in case of a fire, and how they should react to one if you aren’t home.
1. Exit Plan
Be sure to go over your exit plan with your children if there were to be a fire. Which way would you take to get out, what is your plan B if that way is blocked, and where you’ll meet if anyone gets separated on their way out.
2. Fire is Dangerous
Teaching your kids not to play with or even go near lighters, matches, and candles is a great first step for preventing fires in your home. They aren’t toys and shouldn’t be left within reach of children.
3. Run, Don’t Hide
The first instinct for many children when threatened is to hide. Whether it be in their wardrobe or under the bed, these places are not safe in the case of a fire. Teach your children to run from fire instead of hiding from it.
4. Fall and Crawl
If they’re old enough to understand that smoke inhalation is as – if not more – dangerous than fire then explain that to them. If not, simply say the best way to move around in case of a fire is to get on their bellies and crawl. The smoke will rise so the lower to the ground they get the less toxic the air will be.
5. Stop, Drop, and Roll
Finally, there’s the decades old adage of ‘stop, drop, and roll’ in the horrific chance that your child’s clothing catches fire. Practice the movement with them regularly so it becomes their first instinct. Fire is shocking and terrifying so in this scenario your child could very easily forget your instructions to stop, drop, and roll, but they would be less likely to forget practiced movements. Use teaching incentives, make it fun and more of a game and even young children can appreciate this lesson.
Are there any other fundamentally important tips you would give for teaching children about fire safety?
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Estelle Page is a mother of two and a strong advocate for teaching your children how to be safe at all times. She is also a prolific writer who blogs for Carrot Rewards.