Kids Fire Safety

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Teach your kids fire safety before they get hurt

So few people ever think about kids fire safety, yet burn injuries are amongst the most common of household hazards.

I for one, hate seeing and dealing with a burn injury, particularly by fire.  As a former medic, I have seen some truly horrific sights. It is not nice!

When it comes to burning injuries, you need to not only teach your kids fire safety you need to make them aware of the various things that can cause burns as well as cause fires.A burn injury can be caused by hot water and other liquids, as well as electrical shock, and fire or chemicals, i.e., acids and alkalies.

Kids fire safety is something that we should take note of on a daily basis, no matter where we are.  You may well have taken all the precautions necessary in your home but what about the homes of friends and other family members.  Have they considered home fire safety?

My baby brother used a coat hanger to hook a pot of boiling milk on the stove down onto himself.  It was many weeks before his burn injury healed, and he was confined to bed for most of that time. Fortunately, our neighbor was a Pharmacist, and he was able to deal with the damage. He came around twice a day to provide and change the child’s dressings.

As young married women with children, I never really thought much about home fire safety and the possible hazards of heaters. We had a two bar heater in the bedroom and one night, I woke up coughing and choking to find that our bedroom was light.

Our dog had somehow knocked the heater over, face down on the carpeted wood floor.  I can only thank the good Lord that the fire was not between us and the bedroom door and that it was still relatively small.  While my husband worked to put the fire out, I raced to the children and got them out of the house.

Even young teenagers can be quite careless about fire safety. My 14-year-old son went into the bathroom to clean paint off of himself with petrol. Both the window and door were closed. He decided to sneak a cigarette, not realizing that petrol fumes are flammable. There were an explosion and his chest, neck and face were burnt quite badly.

Fortunately, I had taught my children First Aid (In fact, I had virtually hammered it into them). So, despite his shock, he immediately jumped into the shower and turned the cold water on, after which he used the special burn treatment product that I kept both in the bathroom and in the kitchen. Fortunately, He has no scars from his burns today.

Kids Fire Safety Tips

If at all possible have smoke alarms installed in every room. Test them on a monthly basis and change the batteries every six months.

Ensure that your burglar-guards can be unlatched from inside the house.  Many a person, adult and child alike, have died of a burn injury or smoke inhalation because they were unable to escape from their burning homes.

Work out an escape plan. Keep a ladder available on the upper floor if you live in a double storied home.

Keep a fire extinguisher in the kitchen as well as upstairs and ensure that you know how to use them.

Keep anything flammable i.e. matches candles, chemicals out of the reach of children.

Educate your children about burn safety and what can cause burns. Show then pictures of a burn injury patient.

Use the plates at the back of the stove, before using the front ones.

Make sure that pot handles are turned towards the back of the stove when cooking.

Keep hot foods and liquids away from the table and counter edges.

Do not overload electrical sockets or run electrical wires under rugs or carpets.

Put child-safety covers on all electrical outlets.

If extension cords are damaged or appliances have old and frayed cords, get rid of them. They are fire hazards.

Shorten or bind excess cord from lamps and other electrical equipment. If necessary, purchase a cord cover. Babies love to chew on everything in sight.

Track down the cords from your surround sound system so that your little crawling imp can’t get at them.

Make sure that TV’s, Stereos and computer are positioned so that inquisitive hands cannot get at the cords or the back of the equipment.

Make sure that Christmas lights have no exposed or broken wiring and that they are properly insulated. In fact, make sure that the tree is lifted above the reach of small people and that all wires and decorations are safe from their little hands.

Check electronic equipment and toys regularly. If anything gives off sparks, feels hot or has a strange smell, get rid of it, or have it repaired immediately.

Ensure that bedside lamps and nightlights cannot touch fabric from bedspreads and curtains. More explained here.

Heaters should be kept at least 1M away from anything flammable.

Small stoves and heaters should be placed in such a way that they cannot be knocked over.

Keep large dogs and pets away from heaters.

Screen your fireplace and make sure that the chimney is regularly cleaned .

Don’t forget to check that the tumble dryer vent is cleaned of lint on a regular basis. Otherwise it could overheat.

Keep fireworks and sparklers away from your family. Do Not have them in your home!

It might be fun if you used “kids fire safety” as a safety topic in your home for a week. Get the kids to make up posters and write stories. If they are old enough, they could trawl the house looking for fire hazards – the one who finds the most receives a prize.

Get them to make up gifts for burn-injured children at your local burns unit. Visit a fire station. Arrange a talk at school.Consider getting your neighbours involved in a kids fire safety drive.

Do something! Don’t just think about kids fire safety.

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