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HOW TO TEACH YOUR KIDS ABOUT FIRE SAFETY WITH FIRST ALERT
Growing up in a household with a firefighter as a dad, fire safety was something was a big deal in our house. We learned it early on and were reminded of it often. Then I married a firefighter and I knew that fire safety would be as big a teaching point as it had been during my childhood. I remember as an elementary student the firefighters would come to our school and bring their robotic fire hydrant “sparky” who would wheel around the cafeteria stage and spray water at the kids sitting cross legged on the floor staring in awhhh. It was so much fun learning about fire safety!
Since we are a home school family I knew I had to incorporate fire safety into our lessons but I wanted to make it as fun as possible and I’m finding out for a kindergartner that means as hands on as possible. Here are a few fun ways we are teaching our kids about fire safety.
How To Teach Kids About Fire Safety: Reading and Play
Make a special trip to the library and find a few fun books on fire safety and firefighters. There are tons of great reads for kids on these special community helpers. Let your kids pick out a few of their favorites to bring home and read together as a family. We found a simple and cute printable that John loved coloring as we talked and he asked lots of great questions.
How To Teach Kids About Fire Safety: Visit local Fire Station
Many local fire departments are happy to hose young visitors and give them a tour of the station and show them how the trucks work. We recently had a visit and I loved that the firefighters geared up in their bunkers and helmets so that the kids could see how they look when they arrive at a fire. Sometimes for littles it can be a little scary to see the firefighters in full gear for the first time. The kids really loved this part of our visit. Not sure you have time for a full tour. Consider making thank you cards and a treat to deliver to your local station and get a quick peek of the station. The kids will love it and the firefighters are always happy host future firefighters.
How To Teach Kids About Fire Safety: Family Emergency Plan
An important part of learning about fire safety is developing an emergency plan with your family. Did you know that ONLY 43% of homeowners have an emergency escape plan and only 33% have discussed fire safety with their family?* In the event of an actual emergency every moment counts and having a plan ahead of time that everyone if familiar with, especially children could make a big difference. Are you ready to make an emergency plan with your family? Here are a few steps to make it easier for you.
When creating a home escape plan, start with drawing a map of your home showing all the doors and windows. We used these easy to download and print page from First Alert. Make this with the entire family together, that way in the event of an emergency everyone will know how to exit and where to meet.
Know at least two ways out of every room, ask the kids to help you with this one. That way they are thinking about it ahead of time and can identify on their own ways to get in and out of the areas.
Choose a meeting spot outside, a safe distance away from your home, like a tree or mailbox. We live directly across the street from our neighborhood mailboxes, making it the ideal spot for our family meeting spot.
Practice your emergency escape plan at least twice a year. Since this is a new concept and our children are young, we practice more often that this so that it is fresh in their minds. Remember Plan. Practice. Repeat.
Teach and practice with your children how to escape on their own in case you can’t help them. Our house has the master bedroom separate from our children’s rooms. It’s key that we teach them how to get to safety in the event that we can’t get to them.
Once your outside at your meeting place, call 911. If you do not have access to your phone, call from a neighbors house.
How To Teach Kids About Fire Safety: Prepare your home
When we moved into our home, John was scared of the “green light” in his room. It was the light on our smoke detector and it allowed us a teaching moment. Instead of being scared of the light know that it is there to help protect us and what the smoke alarm was for. Preparing our home for potential emergencies is a activity that can involve the entire family as well. The National Fire Protection Association recommends having smoke alarms installed on every level of your home, including the basement, and inside and outside each sleeping area. We have them in every room of our single store home. Having a smoke alarm installed isn’t enough, make sure that you test and/or change the batteries every 6 months. or you can upgrade your alarms to the First Alert 10-year sealed battery alarms which will eliminate the need to change the batteries for the lifetime of the alarm.
In addition to smoke alarms, it’s recommended that First Alert Carbon monoxide alarms should be installed on every level of the home, including the basement and near each sleeping area. An easy way to remember this is every level, every bedroom.
Homes should be equipped with fire extinguishers on each level and near the kitchen. Other areas that are ideal for a fire extinguisher location are the laundry room, garage, near bedrooms and by the grill.
If your home is multi stories or set higher from the ground, an escape ladder is encouraged in the case that an emergency exit is blocked.
Have you done Fire Safety Education with your family yet?
*First Alert Research Report, June 2016 – Results are based on the responses of 1,000+ adult homeowners, ages 25 and older, living in the United States.