Did you know that over 90% of injuries and deaths resulting in residential fires involve single and double family homes and apartments. Losses to property go beyond 4 billion dollars yearly, not to mention the long-standing emotional impact to fire victims and their loved ones is immeasurable. So the question arises: If you are at home, are you and the kids prepared? What if you are not at home, are your kids aware of what to do?
Yes, you most likely have installed smoke alarms, but do you regularly check them see if their batteries are still working? You should be aware that smoke detector batteries should be changed twice a year. Have you created a fire escape plan and informed the kids about it to make sure that everyone gets out of the house safely whenever there is an emergency such as a fire? And if you do have a home fire escape plan, have you practiced applying it at least once a year?
Though your children are young, they can definitely comprehend the importance of keeping your home and the people inside it safe from fire. It is very important to sit down and seriously talk to your children and teach them everything there is they need to know about fire safety and how they should react when there is fire. One of the most effective protections that you can provide your family is to set up a fire escape plan that they can use to get out of your home when fire erupts.
True, a fully functional smoke detector would be able to warn whoever it is inside the house when there is a fire, but they still need to get out of the house. This is where a home fire escape plan comes into play. An effective home escape plan should involve more than one route of escape in the event that fire has also spread and blocked some potential exits. Make a drawing of your plan and show it to your kids. These visual aids will greatly help your kids find their way when there is an emergency.
Aside from a workable escape plan, you may want to set up a scheme that explains how each family member will be able to get out. While teens and taller children have the capacity to take care of their own during emergencies, younger kids as well as elderly family members and people with disability may need assistance in getting out of the house. You can designate a 'buddy' system to provide help to those who need to guarantee that everyone gets out safely. The kids should also be aware of a spot outside the house where everyone should meet once they get out of the house. This allows parents and caregivers to be able to do a headcount and determine if everyone has safely gotten out of the burning house.
There are also other simpler precautions that parents can do to ensure that children are safe from fire. First off, each time cooking is performed, there should always be a grown up inside the house. Aside from the kitchen, electrical wiring should be regularly checked to see if they are still in good condition.