Nothing hurts a parent more than to see their child suffer. Whether it is an illness, an emotional hurt or an injury, we wish we could set it right straight away. Yet, so few of us are actually worried about fire hazards around our children when over 20,000 people die every year in the fire including children.
This brings me to the reality of fire safety. Most of us don’t give any thought to it.
It will never happen to me or my child is what almost each one of us thinks.
And this is one of the reasons why we live in ignorant bliss while our houses, neighborhoods, malls and even schools, yes schools, are sometimes sitting ducks to fire accidents.
Fire hazards can cause life-threatening situations. Kids and young children are more vulnerable to such hazards, therefore, it is important to teach them about fire safety. Not only you should be prepared about any fire hazard at your home, your children should also be prepared and must know how to respond during such situations.
As a parent, it worries me that our public places often openly flout fire safety norms. How many of us are aware of how fire safe are our schools, our malls, our hospitals or even our homes? We are not! It is not something that we ponder over.
Would you, like me, would like to make a beginning?
Here are some fire safety tips that will keep our children safe:
Talking About Fire Hazards
The first step towards teaching your kids important fire safety lessons is making them understand the effects of fire. You can use videos, images, and courses available online to make them understand the basic facts about fire and situations that can cause an outbreak of fire. Make sure that you handle the topic carefully as you would not want to scare off your kid. Use real-life examples and make sure that your kids are aware of things in your home that are combustible. You can introduce some fun elements like firemen related games or showing them animated videos of fire safety to make the learning curve easy for them.
Identify Fire Hazards In Your Home To Minimize Risks
If you have kids at home, you must be extra careful and make sure that combustible items are away from their reach. Always keep matches, lighters and candles in places that are difficult to reach for children. You can place child locks on cupboards to prevent them from accessing such items.
Make sure that electrical equipments are properly repaired and safe for children. Kids are often curious about various items in the household and may end up doings things like poking fingers in electrical sockets. Therefore, teach them from the early age that it is not right and they might get hurt. Also, you can cover up sockets with socket covers to prevent it.
Teach Them About Fire Safety Equipment Installed In Home
Homes with kids must have fire safety equipment installed so that you can prevent the fire before it causes damage. You can also teach your kids about the functioning of equipment like smoke detectors, fire extinguishers and fire alarms so that they know how to identify a fire hazard. You can seek the help of child-friendly videos available on the internet for teaching them about various fire safety equipment that can be readily used in case of a fire.
Other special precautions that you can take at home are:
- Ensure that all the electrical devices are switched off and de-plugged at night in your kids’ room.
- Prepare an escape route that would be used in event of a fire and teach your kids about it.
- Make them understand that they must approach emergency responders in a case a fire breakout instead of putting themselves in dangerous situations.
It is not only the duty of parents to teach students about fire safety but schools and child care providers must come forward to prepare kids for uncalled fire accidents. With proper guidance and measures, you can comfortably teach kids to respond to fire accidents. We hope that the above given tips would help you in inculcating habits in kids that would keep them safe during emergency situations.
This Children’s Day, also endeavour to pay more attention to fire safety in your public spaces. Talk to your kids’ school and find out what measures they have in place in case of a fire emergency. It is possible that they haven’t given a thought to it or have just some cursory fire fighting equipment that has not been serviced for years only because parents don’t pay attention to fire safety.
Force them to think and take corrective action. Holding a fire safety drill for children could be the next step.
Similarly, be more engaged in how equipped are our other public places in the event of a fire. Last time, I went to watch a movie with my children, I actually spent some extra time to note where the Emergency Exits in the theatre were. While taking the stairs to go to the parking lot, I noticed that the staircase was quite wide and that each floor had a fire safety notice put up about evacuation in case of an emergency and fire extinguishers on each floor. I was happy to note that there was some effort done there.
Let’s make fire safety a pertinent issue. Next time, you go to a public space, I urge you to observe, question and speak up.
Rachna Parmar is an Editor, web columnist, popular blogger and Digital Marketer. She is a mother of two and feels strongly about the issue of fire safety and the lack of importance accorded to it in India.