Most adults are familiar with the dangers of fire and they know what to do in the event of one. However when it comes to teaching children about fire safety, they tend to struggle. It is a difficult conversation and one that many no one enjoys. You don’t want to scare your kids but you want them to know exactly what to do in a worst case scenario. It is a tricky subject but here is a little guide on how you can help your children.
1.Before throwing them in at the deep end, introduce them to the topic. This may sound silly but watching the children’s tv programme, Fireman Sam is a great introduction. The programme shows the main character fighting fires and explains how they were caused. It is good to introduce the topic from an early age and a visual can help explain the dangers of fire. If this doesn’t seem age appropriate there are also online games and colouring in activities to aid you in your explanation.
2.Secondly after you have introduced the topic and they know the dangers, teach them about prevention equipment. Most houses should contain a smoke alarm and a fire blanket or extinguisher. Prevention is cheaper than the cure and while an extinguisher might seem unnecessary, it is useful to have one on hand. Show the child the smoke alarm, explain its position and let them heard the sound. Making them aware of the sound helps them to understand what is happening in the event of a fire.
3.Explain to children that fire fighters are heroes and that they shouldn’t be scared of them. This will help feel more comfortable and in the event of the fire they need to know not to run away from them.
4.Make a plan. Show your children what to do in the event of a fire, teach them an escape route and practise following the route. Teach them more than one option so talk them through opening windows as a back up and explain to them that they may have to feel their way out of the building. Explain the safe way to open door handles in case they are hot and tell them that when they get out, they need to stay out. Don’t leave any area unturned. Fire safety is necessary and although it might not be our favourite topic especially when talking to our kids, in the case of a fire you will be glad you prepared them.
5.After going through everything they need to know, reward your child with a certificate. Make a fire safety certificate for them to show they’ve learnt important skills and to highlight just how important the information you’ve given them actually was.
Jason Kidd works for www.firesafetystore.co.uk, Online fire safety and protection retailer based in the UK. Jason has many years experience working within the fire safety industry.
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