Is it back-to-school season already? As kids become accustomed to their new schedules, fire safety should be on everyone’s minds. Whether you’re a parent or teacher, be sure to cover these fire safety topics with your children or students.
Stop, Drop, and Roll
The thought of having your clothes or hair catch fire is pretty terrifying. If you panic, you might have the urge to run. However, this only fans the flames and makes the fire worse. That’s why the proper response is to stop what you’re doing, drop to the floor, and roll around until the flames go out.
Teach your kids that this technique works because it smothers the fire and stops air from reaching it. Then, practice this drill to make the concept more memorable.
How to Escape a Building that’s on Fire
If you become trapped inside a building during a fire, the smoke can be just as dangerous as the flames. Your lungs need clean air, and inhaling smoke could be deadly. Talk to your children about how smoke rises, so the cleanest air is located close to the floor. That’s why you should crawl on your hands and knees when evacuating a building that’s on fire.
When you come to a closed door, don’t reach up and turn the knob right away—flames could be on the other side! To test this, touch the door with the back of your hand first. If it feels warm, look for another way out. If it’s cool, crawl through. Stay low until you make your way outside.
School Fire Drills
If your child has never done a fire drill at school, explain what to expect:
- Teachers will tell their students if a fire drill is scheduled that day.
- When the time comes, and the fire alarm goes off, listen carefully to directions.
- Line up quickly and orderly, and follow your teacher outside.
- Stay with your classmates at all times for headcounts and roll call.
- Wait until you get the “all clear.” Then, return with your teacher and classmates to your classroom.
Playing with Fire
Children accidentally start around 50,000 fires each year in the US, including 11,000 structure fires. To help prevent this, keep matches and lighters out of reach, preferably in a locked cupboard. Then, explain to your kids the dangers of playing with fire and how this puts everyone around them at risk.
All children should know how to dial 911 during an emergency. It’s appropriate to call 911 if there’s a fire, someone is having a medical emergency, you see a crime in progress, or you witness or are in a serious car accident. Make sure your children know never to call 911 as a prank, which is a criminal offense in many areas.