Does your child know what to do in the event of a fire?
Each year, hundreds of Aussie children get injured (or worse) in house fires. And without proper education and planning, your child could too. To prevent that horrible situation from happening, it is worth taking the initiative to educate your children about fire safety.
We provide several crucial points in this post.
Hollywood films have engrained 911 into our brains. The problem is exacerbated for the little ones, who struggle to differentiate between American media and the real world. Teach your kids the correct emergency services number in Australia, and quiz them repeatedly to ensure the digits have stuck.
Luckily, triple 000 is a simple number—the learning process shouldn’t take too long.
Get Down Low and Go Go Go
Smoke inhalation causes more death and injury than the flames themselves. The best way to protect your lungs from noxious fumes released during a fire is to get down low on the ground.
Rather than explaining the science behind it, teach your kids this memorable rhyme: “Get Down Low and Go Go Go.” For best results, practise the routine together while repeating it out loud. Then, to make the drill more realistic, manually activate your smoke alarm.
If you weren’t aware, the correct procedure involves dropping to the ground and crawling to the nearest exit.
Stop, Drop, and Roll
While smoke inhalation is the biggest threat, it is also essential to teach your kids what to do should their clothes set ablaze. “Stop, Drop, and Roll” is the fire safety motto of choice worldwide, as the memorable rhyme clearly outlines precisely what you need to do.
This is another good one to practise together as a family. One parent could yell out “fire,” then the whole family hits the ground to roll around. Mix it up with a call of “smoke” to practice “Get Down Low and Go Go Go.”
Don’t Hide, Go Outside
Another helpful rhyme for your kids to remember, this one teaches them to get out ASAP. Young children tend to hide upon sensing danger, and there’s clearly no hiding from a house fire.
Practise this procedure in conjunction with “Get Down Low and Go Go Go” by crawling with your children to safety outside the home. You’ll need to teach them to choose the safest route, avoiding rooms and corridors with flames or excessive smoke.
Once safely outside, stress how important it is to stay put.
Even if a family member or pet remains trapped inside, the child must wait a safe distance outside and get help. Teach them to call 000 on their mobile phone if they have one; otherwise, they should inform a neighbour instead.
Children may be tempted to rush back in for a heroic rescue, especially if they’ve left a beloved pet or favourite toy behind. However, previous tragedies have shown it is never a good idea for a child to return inside—it is crucial that your kids understand this.
Steer Clear of the Heaters
As the temperature starts to plummet each year, winter heralds the beginning of the house fire season. Parents need to be meticulous in monitoring their warmth-emitting appliances, keeping a close eye on each heater in the house.
Teach the kids to keep toys well away from the heaters in your home. Plush toys are a notorious offender, as these highly flammable synthetic animals can burst into flames in a matter of moments.
Open Flames Are a Big No-No
Keep matches and lighters well out of reach of prying hands. If you have an older child with pyromaniac tendencies, simply storing them on the top shelf may not do. Grab a cheap lockbox from the hardware store and keep any flame-creating devices secure.
Teach your kids to tell an adult if they spot a lighter or matches, even if that means dobbing on their siblings. It is worth reassuring them they won’t get in trouble, but that you need to be aware for safety’s sake.
Prepare Your Bushfire Plan
If the horror of the 2019/2020 bushfire season taught us anything, it’s that nobody is safe from the threat of bushfires. Rural residents and suburbanites alike should create a bushfire plan to protect their families from harm. Be sure to involve your children in the discussions, as their participation during an emergency could save lives.
The four fundamental components of a bushfire plan are:
- Discuss what to do in a bushfire
- Prepare your home for bushfire season
- Understand the alert levels
- Monitor your state-specific smartphone app and/or local media
Visit the webpage of the fire service in your state for more information.
Safeguarding Your Home
While educating your children on fire safety is essential, installing adequate equipment to protect the home is equally important. PSA Products is Australia’s leading fire alarm supplier, selling a wide range of solutions to safeguard your home, including Lifesaver smoke alarms and wireless interconnected photoelectric smoke alarms. If you have any enquiries, you can get in touch with our friendly team today!