October is Fire Safety month, but every month should include a discussion with children about how to stay safe in the event of a fire. Teaching them basic skills and strategies can mean the difference between life or death. Here are a few great fire safety tips for kids to start your discussion.
- Know Your Escape Routes
Walk through the house and point out at least two exits from each room of the house. Make sure your child knows how to open and get out of each exit in case there’s a fire and one of the exits is blocked. While practicing your escape routes, it’s important to put safety first, but during a fire, sometimes the less safe and slightly scarier exit option (like a window) should be used if the door is blocked. Discussing and planning with your child ahead of time will help them think and react more clearly in an emergency situation.
- Walk, Don’t Run.
If there’s a fire, your child should know to walk, not run to the nearest exit and go to safety. Running can make it easier for them to trip and fall which could result in injury. When they hear the beep of the smoke detector, their first instinct should be to head outdoors.
- Meet in Your Designated Spot
As a family, set a designated spot away from your house where your child knows to go in the event of a fire. It’s the spot where all family members will gather as soon as they’re out of the house. This prevents confusion over who is or is not safe from the burning structure.
Emphasize that the most important thing to do in a fire is to get away from it and get to safety. The fire department can be called after you’re outside and in the designated safety spot. Knowing what to do and having a plan will make your child – and you! – feel safer in the event of a fire.