Santa's Friend Chimney Service

Teach Fire Safety to Your Kids

Teaching kids fire safety

It’s fun to foster a love of your fireplace in your kids, making s’mores, sitting by the fire with a mug of cocoa, hanging Christmas stockings, talking about Santa’s arrival. But since kids are naturally curious, it’s important to put some time aside for the serious aspects of owning and using a fireplace or stove, too: fire safety. It can feel like a hard topic to broach, but preparing kids to safely interact with a heating appliance — and to understand how dangerous that appliance and the fire in it can be — can make all the difference in keeping them safe from injury or harm.

Develop an escape plan for your home and practice it.

Develop an escape plan for your home and practice it.

Fireplace Safety Starts With You

There’s a lot you can do to make your fireplace and the area around it safer for kids, including having a safety screen installed. Making sure you never leave children alone with the fireplace — even if you’ve just put it out or turned it off — is key. It can take 45 minutes for gas fireplace doors to cool down (and they can get as hot as 200º F or hotter, very quickly), and smoldering embers can cause serious burns.

It’s helpful to bolster talking about boundaries — staying a safe distance away from the fireplace — with clear information about fire: how fast it can move, how dangerous it is, and how important it is to be careful around it.

Safety Around The Fireplace Is Just A Start

Teaching your kids how to be safe while enjoying the fires you build in the fireplace is just part of the equation. That natural curiosity leads a lot of children to light fires on their own, finding matches or lighters and playing with them in secret. Keeping those tools safely confined away from little hands is one step. Talking with kids about those tools, their safe use and the danger that comes along with fire is a key second step.

Creating An Action Plan, And Practicing

Keeping up with the regular maintenance of your fireplace and chimney, of course, reduces the chance of a chimney fire. But fire is always a danger, and one that we can’t predict, so being prepared is worthwhile for both adults and kids. The U.S. Fire Administration recommends practicing an escape plan with your kids, and it makes sense: Having a plan helps your whole family react quickly when you need to, and since kids often learn best by doing, practicing will be particularly valuable for them.

That learning process should including hearing what the fire alarm sounds like, and knowing what it means. You can also talk to kids about firemen: what they look like, what they do and why we shouldn’t be afraid of them. Knowing how to react if their clothes were to catch fire — the stop, drop and roll method — is important too, as is developing several escape routes and meeting places, and practicing all of it.

An escape plan is a serious thing, and fire safety is a serious topic, but practicing can be fun — and that definitely helps kids learn, and remember.

By on August 26th, 2013 | Tagged with: Tags: , , | Leave a Comment