Keeping children safe from fire requires educating them not only about the dangers of fire, but also about what to do in case of a fire. Making time to teach your kids fire safety at home could mean the difference between life and death.
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Every year, more than 3,500 people die and another 20,000 are injured in fires across the United States. Approximately 150 of those killed were killed in fires that were attributed to children playing with fire, according to the U.S. Fire Administration. Additionally, fires begun by children destroy about £130 million worth of property annually in the country. Children set over 35,000 fires every year. Thus, the need to educate children about fire safety in the home is clear.
Children may not understand how playing with a match or a lighter could result in everything they love being burnt to the ground. Help them make that connection to avoid fire play. Additionally, teach them how fires commonly start so that they know what not to do. For instance, explain how draping a coat or shirt over a lamp or heater can result in fire.
Young children should know what to do in case of a fire emergency in the home. Teach them to stop, drop and roll if their clothing catches fire. Also, teach them how to escape from a fire. If your family doesn't yet have a household fire plan, it's time to create one. Make sure kids know what to do if the house is on fire and how to get out.
Children aren't known for being particularly good listeners. Thus, it's important that you back up everything you tell your kids about fire safety with practice. Conduct fire drills in your home so children gain a better understanding of what to do in the event of a fire. Make sure they understand all the designated escape plans and where to meet up with other family members during a home fire. Also, make sure they know what your fire or smoke alarm sounds like.
Fire safety isn't just about teaching kids how to prevent and respond to fires. It's also about teaching them how to avoid simple injuries from fire. For instance, teach children not to touch heaters and if they are old enough to cook, to do so only under adult supervision.
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