Fire Safety and Prevention Tips and Activities for Families

National Fire Prevention Week

October is National Fire Safety Month in the United States. This is a perfect time for families to go over their fire safety plans and practice. Here are some great tips and fun activities for families to review and do together.

Source

Fire Safety Video

Fire Escape Plan for Families

Creating a fire escape plan for your family is critical. Businesses and schools have their fire escape routes posted throughout their buildings, but do you? It is just as, if not more important, for you to be sure that your family is prepared in the case of a fire. So how can you do that? Create a fire escape plan. Draw a simple layout of each level of your home. Then together, go to each room and talk about two escape routes for each room. It is important that children understand that there is more than one way to get out of a room. Once you have designated each escape route, mark it on your plan. Post a copy of your plan in a highly frequented area of your home, for example the bathroom. You will not likely have the time to study your plan during a fire but seeing it repeatedly over time will help your family to know what to do if there is an emergency. Here are some other important things to consider.

  1. Practice your plan. Set a time once a month that you will practice your escape route. You can even do a "surprise" drill by setting off your smoke detector and see how your family responds.
  2. Block an exit. Step up your drills and place a sign or pretend flames at one or two exits. This will force your family to remember what the alternate escape route was.
  3. Set a meeting place. There is no bigger worry for a parent or child than not being able to find each other in an emergency. Make sure that everyone knows where they are to meet if there is a fire. Be sure to actually go to that place together so that everyone knows the exact spot. This should be a place far from the danger of the fire.

Fire Safety Checklist

Activity
Completed
Change the batteries in your smoked detectors every six months.
 
Create a fire escape plan.
 
Have family fire drills.
 
Do not overload outlets with too many plugs.
 
Keep fabric away from burners, open flames, and outlets.
 
Have a fire extinguisher available in your kitchen.
 
Never leave an open flame unattended.
 
Keep matches and lighters out of children's reach.
 
Have your furnace inspected annually.
 
Be sure that there are smoke detectors on every level of your home and in each bedroom.
 

Fire Prevention Safety Tips

There are many ways that families can practice safety in regards to preventing fires. Here are some things that you can do to ensure that your family is practice fire safety.

  • Keep matches and lighters out of reach of children.
  • Create a fire escape plan. Be sure that each family member is aware of your plan, including your meeting place, and alternate escape routes. Then take time to practice that plan.
  • Test the fire alarms in your home. You want to be sure that your alarms are always in working order. Don't forget to change the batteries every six months.

Firestation Pictures

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Alex poses with Sparky for a picture.How high does that bucket ladder reach?Oh my!  Sparky is dumping candy for everyone!Grace and Alex thought the medivac helicopter was very cool.Checking out the inside.  There wasn't much room!The firemen hang their fire gear in individual lockers.Grace practices putting out a house fire with a real fire hose.
Alex poses with Sparky for a picture.
Alex poses with Sparky for a picture. | Source
How high does that bucket ladder reach?
How high does that bucket ladder reach? | Source
Oh my!  Sparky is dumping candy for everyone!
Oh my! Sparky is dumping candy for everyone! | Source
Source
Grace and Alex thought the medivac helicopter was very cool.
Grace and Alex thought the medivac helicopter was very cool. | Source
Checking out the inside.  There wasn't much room!
Checking out the inside. There wasn't much room! | Source
The firemen hang their fire gear in individual lockers.
The firemen hang their fire gear in individual lockers. | Source
Grace practices putting out a house fire with a real fire hose.
Grace practices putting out a house fire with a real fire hose. | Source

Fire Prevention for Kids

Fire trucks and firemen are such a great draw for children. They love the bright color of the firetruck and the amazing things that it can do. And they look up to those firefighters that help people who are in trouble. Capitalizing on this interest is a great way to help children understand the dangers of fires.

Since October is national fire prevention month, many fire stations have open houses during this time. It is a great opportunity for kids to check out the fire station and learn about what firefighters do. There are often lots of activities that the fire stations have at these open houses. You can tour the station, talk with a firefighter, meet Sparky the Fire Dog, climb in a fire truck, explore an ambulance, and even walk through a truck that is designed to teach about fire safety. We make this an annual event in my house and my kids always have a great time. Last year they even had a medivac helicopter fly in and they simulated what happens if someone needs to be flown to a hospital. Then the kids were able to climb in the helicopter.

So how can you prepare your child in the event of a fire in your home? Here are some great things to practice with your child.

  • Stop, drop, and roll. Teach your children that if they or their clothing catches fire, to stop, drop to the ground and roll to put out the flames.
  • Never play with matches or lighters. It's best to keep them away from kids altogether but children should know not to play with them if they do see them.
  • Do not use the stove unless you are with an adult who is helping. I'm all for teaching my children independence and how to cook. However, this must always be done with supervision.
  • Do not put anything into sockets except a plug. My children love to plug in a radio or their leapster games. They need to be shown that a plug is the only thing that is allowed to go in the socket and what may happen if something else is put in.
  • Do not play with any open flames. Whether it is a candle burning or a fire in the fireplace, children must know not to touch or put anything in the flames.
  • Never go back into a burning building. Pets, pictures and other things may be important but your life is much more valuable. Never go back into a burning building.
  • Get out! Don't waste time looking for things you want to keep. It may mean losing your life.
  • Never hide under a bed. If a firefighter has to help you get out, they will not be able to find you under a bed. Teach your children to get down to the ground where there is fresh air and crawl along the wall. Firefighters will be able to find you there.

Sparky the fire dog is a great mascot for kids. There is some wonderful additional information and activities on Sparky's website. From games to cartoons to tips, this is a great way to learn and practice fire safety for kids. Coloring sheets are also a great way to review fire safety information.





Sparky the Fire Dog Video

How much do you know about fire safety in the home?

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Comments 24 comments

usmlefacts profile image

usmlefacts 4 years ago from US

Great hub! Lots of useful information.


twinstimes2 profile image

twinstimes2 4 years ago from Ohio

Another awesome resource. I had published one on our first fire drill and why we conducted it. I like the extra tips included in yours. Well done!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks so much usmlefacts! I appreciate your visit.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Glad you found it useful twinstimes2. I'm headed out to run some errands but I'm going to check out your hub later. Can't wait to read the information you have shared. Thanks for reading and commenting.


amberld profile image

amberld 4 years ago from New Glarus, WI

Very nicely done hub with some great info for kids. I know my kids really enjoy visiting the fire station to check out the engines. I know they had one visit the school before, always a fun time. After we had our house fire 3 years ago, I did learn that you should have all your rooms recorded so that you remember your belongings in case you ever experience a fire. That is the number one recommendation I can make to people. It took a long time for me to work out what we had in our home (think it was about 300 pages of stuff) and I am sure to this day that I forgot stuff. At least no one was hurt (my 3 yr old was at my parents house so it was just me, hubby and an 18 month old at home). I think it might even be fun to write everything down with the kids now that they are in school. And I also need to take my own advice and make a new inventory! :) Anyway, thanks for the useful hub. voted up!


twinstimes2 profile image

twinstimes2 4 years ago from Ohio

Cardelean, I added a link to this hub from mine. The tips are a great addition.


Teresa Coppens profile image

Teresa Coppens 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Fantastic hub, Cara. As usual I love the video with your children starring! Well laid out and useful.


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

Fun hub-wish I had been there. Alex was a riot with the hose! Well presented including the chart. Voted up and all the way across.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

So sorry that you have had that experience but excellent advice amberld! I am going to add that in. I have to say that it is not something I have have done either and need to put it on my long to do list. I appreciate you sharing your personal experience with us.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks so much twinstimes2. I'm off to read yours!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Glad you enjoyed it Teresa. Thanks for reading and commenting.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Isn't he always a riot? Thanks for reading and commenting. :)


kelleyward 4 years ago

Cardelean another great hub and video. I bet your kids love the videos and learning opportunities! voted up! Take care, Kelley


Denise Handlon profile image

Denise Handlon 4 years ago from North Carolina

I was just thinking how much fun they're going to have when they are older and looking back on all of these hubs. :)


teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 4 years ago

It is nice to see how well the firestation helped inform children of fire safety. Your safety tips and checklist are so helpful. I remember working with children as a preschool teacher to learn the stop, drop and roll method. Great read and so well done. Voted up.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

As always I appreciate your visits Kelley. They really do enjoy all of the activities that we do. I've always taken them lots of places because I know that it is important for their growth and development but now 'Mommy has to do reasearch' lol. They love it though! Thanks again for stopping by.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Yeah, it's kind of like an online diary for them!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

My kids had a visit from a firefighter and truck at their preschool this year. It is so important to teach them early the safety of fire prevention. Thanks so much for your comments teaches12345 and I'm sure your little preschoolers loved learning those skills from you!


American View profile image

American View 4 years ago from Plano, Texas

Card,

One of my favorite times of my 15 years as a NY firefighter was Fire Prevention Week. I so loved being interactive with the kids, getting them involved in the discussion about safety and fire prevention. You wrote a great article that many need to read and follow. Up and awesome


alissaroberts profile image

alissaroberts 4 years ago from Normandy, TN

Fantastic fire safety tips and fun video to go with it! My boys would love a trip like this one to the fire station. I will have to keep my eyes and ears open come October to see if there is anything available like this in our area. Another awesome and useful hub - voted up!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

That is so great to hear American View! I can only imagine that it would be a nice change from what you firefighters see and do on a daily basis. Thank you so much for reading and giving such kind comments. We appreciate all that firefighters do!


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Glad you liked it Alissa. I'm sure your boys would have a blast at the fire station. We've gone every year since my kids were just little and they never get tired of it.


Danette Watt profile image

Danette Watt 4 years ago from Illinois

Very well done hub on an important subject. When we lived in a 2 story house, I was concerned about fire and had considered getting a fire ladder for the kids' rooms (I guess Quincy and I would just jump out the window, LOL). I never did get around to it. They did have the sun porch room outside their windows on the one side of the house so I guess they could have jumped onto that and then down.

We talked about fire safety and a plan, what to do, etc with the but never practiced. I really liked the idea of blocking an exit to force them to think of the alternate route out.

Voted up, interesting and useful. And of course the kids were cute! They looked like they had a lot of fun at the open house. Brought back memories of the boys.


cardelean profile image

cardelean 4 years ago from Michigan Author

Thanks, we have a lot of fun every year and each year they do something a little different. We had a bon fire in the backyard on Saturday and started to talk to the kids about what they would do if there was a fire. We haven't actually practiced yet but we will soon. Thanks for reading and commenting!

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