A few weeks ago, I chaperoned my youngest son’s field trip to the fire house. They were so excited to learn about the fire trucks and talk to real firemen. During our trip, they spoke a lot about family fire safety and I was pretty sure most of it went over his head. That is, until we went home and he repeated a lot what we were taught.
If it makes an impression on a 4 year old, then it’s something that we should impress on them as well! One thing we can do as families is talk with their kids. Trust me, they will keep us accountable! They’re good at reminding. We teach them to follow rules, and they love it when they can remind us to “follow the rules” too.
Family Fire Safety Tips
Have family fire drills. Our kids practice fire drills at school multiple times throughout the year. But what about home? There is more of chance for a house fire than a school fire, but families don’t really practice them. This is a good opportunity to go over the family meeting place and test out smoke detectors.
Have a family meeting place. This was something that we have not yet talked about as a family. It’s important for every family to have a meeting space when they get out of their house during a fire. It should be in front of the house (like across the street) so that when the fire department arrives they know who’s out of the house and who may still be inside.
Have multiple smoke detectors. Our fireman recommended a smoke detector on each floor and in each bedroom. He also suggested setting off the alarm when the kids are sleeping so they learn what it sounds like and they don’t sleep through alarm. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire nearly in half. They provide an early warning and critical extra seconds to escape. On average, families have less than 3 minutes from the time the first smoke alarm sounds to escape a fire.
Change your batteries. It is recommended to change the batteries in your smoke detector twice a year, every time we change the clocks! Put a piece of masking tape on the batteries with the date you changed them so you don’t forget! Grab extra 9-volt batteries the next time you are shopping. This way you always have batteries on hand! Most smoke detectors require 9-volt batteries so it’s always good to have them on hand!
Stop. Drop. And Roll. We all remember this saying from when we were kids! We all know that if our clothes catch on fire we should stop what we are doing, drop the floor, and roll around. One of things that the fireman shared was while you are rolling on the ground, you should cover your face as well.
Get out. Stay out. One of the most important things that was stressed was once you get out of your house doing a fire, you stay out! Don’t go back in for your toys, pet or computer! That’s the firemen’s job! Once you are out of the house, stay safe and stay out.
Don’t hide. If you can’t get out of the house safely, wait for the firemen but don’t hide! When they have all their gear on, the firemen can be a little scary. This is why I think it’s important for younger kids to visit the firehouse and watch a fireman put on his equipment so they know it’s the same person under all that gear. This way when the firemen go looking for them in the house, they don’t hide. We also learned that when the firemen shout “Is anybody in here?”, we should yell back “I am right here!”
Stephanie Glover is a Collegeville, PA mom of two. This post was adopted from her blog, A Grande Life.