Did you know that over 20,000 fires are started each year by children playing with fire? Worse than that, they cause an average of 150 deaths each year and nearly 1,000 injuries to themselves or others.
Playing with fire is a dangerous game and it’s important to teach your children the dangers, as well as, fire safety. Over half of the fires set by children are started by preschoolers and kindergartners and most fires began when the children were left unsupervised or alone.
Fire Safety and Lessons
Never let your child use a match or a lighter – even if an adult is present. Any and all fire-starting mechanisms should be kept out of reach of children at all times. Locking them in a cabinet is the best way to ensure they cannot access them.
Instruct them to tell an adult if they find a lighter or set of matches and only purchase child-resistant lighters. Even if you have child-resistant lighters, they should not be left within a child’s reach as they are not childproof – only harder to light.
Most fires are set by children in hidden places so it is imperative that kids are under close supervision at all times. If your child is intentionally setting fires, get them the help they need before they cause harm to themselves or others.
Home Safety Precautions
Smoke alarms should be installed on every level of your home along with smoke detectors outside of each room, as well as, inside of all sleeping areas. Be sure your children know what they sound like – and what to do if the alarms sound or they see smoke or fire.
Develop a fire escape plan and practice it with your children. This should include teaching them multiple ways to get out of each room in the home, where to meet once they have made it out safely, and the emergency number to call or who to alert if they make it out first.
Be sure you have a map of your home in every room as it can be difficult to navigate a home if it is filled with smoke – especially during what may be a very panicked situation for young children. Most importantly, practice the fire escape plan on a regular basis and teach them to never play with fire.